February 10, 2006

Godchaux Hall debuts new space

Featured Image

Panarut Wisawatapnimit takes advantage of the new workroom dedicated to VUSN Ph.D. students, one of many upgrades made to Godchaux Hall.
Photo by Dana Johnson

Godchaux Hall debuts new space

The first phase of renovations to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing's historic Godchaux Hall is complete.

Staff and faculty recently moved into 14,860 square-feet of fully refurbished space that reflects VUSN's growing offerings, particularly in the area of research.

This is the first major renovation in more than 30 years to Godchaux Hall, which was built in 1925 as a dormitory for 100 nursing students, a library and faculty offices. The outside structure has remained intact as construction crews have been working for several months to completely overhaul the building's interior.

“This project is allowing us to create a fully equipped research space with dry labs and offices to further expand our research efforts,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of VUSN. “This beautiful new space has generated great enthusiasm and created an environment where our research mission will flourish.”

VUSN's expanding doctoral program has relocated to the sixth floor next to a new rooftop terrace. Research space, exam rooms, behavioral labs, clinical intervention offices and faculty and staff offices have moved to the fifth floor. The Joint Center for Nursing Research, grants management and other offices are now housed on the fourth floor. The top three floors also have additional conference rooms outfitted with the latest audio/visual technology. The heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems have all been replaced. Other work has included installing a new elevator, asbestos abatement, and installing a sprinkler and fire system and electronic card access to the building.

Fifty percent of the project is being funded by a National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources grant written by Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N., senior associate dean of Research. Additional funding was provided by key financial supporters including the Godchaux family.

The second and final phase, which concentrates on the basement and floors one through three, has begun. These floors will be home to the Dean's office and administration, student services, the Office of Practice Management, the Office of Lifelong Learning, the Neonatal, Family and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Programs and the Middle Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps. The third floor will include a nine-bed simulated lab and additional classrooms. Educational informatics is an important emphasis in the VUSN curriculum, so the building will have the latest educational equipment and wireless technology.

While most of Godchaux's interior will be new — space, equipment and furniture — VUSN is holding on to its rich heritage by keeping the first floor living room intact. This room has long been a hub of activity at the school. Originally serving for several years as a parlor for the school's first students, the room will be updated and outfitted for multiple uses.

Students and passers-by have noticed little to no interruption during the construction process. Many VUSN faculty and staff are temporarily housed in other parts of VUSN and Medical Center North. All construction is scheduled to be finished by July 2006.