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New Medical Ed Building for UNC Chapel Hill Officially Has Heartbeat

By Eric Althoff

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—A design partnership between FLAD Architects and S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) has provided more educational space to train tomorrow’s healthcare workers. Roper Hall, built by T. A. Loving Company at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a boon to the university’s respected medical school, where students learn the latest techniques in medicine.

In a break from the traditional stand-and-deliver teaching method, Roper Hall has no standard lecture halls. Rather, the design by SLAM and FLAD emphasizes collaborative, interactive spaces. Students learn in seminar rooms, six medium-size classrooms as well as an “active learning theater” that can hold up to 240 people at any one time. The theater space is also where medical students will learn where they have been paired for their residencies.

SLAM also designed several simulation labs, which mimic real-life operating rooms and patient care bays. Students can then unwind at a commons offering a TV lounge, kitchen and even ping pong tables.

“Roper Hall allows us to expand our student capacity while offering state-of-the-art learning environments for all students,” said Cam Enarson, vice dean for strategic initiatives at the UNC School of Medicine. “Thanks to this new facility, our faculty are preparing more students to meaningfully respond to physician shortages and address health care needs across North Carolina.”

“We studied what medical students need to really succeed in today’s world, and reverse-engineered a design that provides the space to prepare future physicians,” said Kimberly Robidoux, higher education practice leader with SLAM. “North Carolina is one of the top states where there are shortages of primary care physicians, and the new medical education building is an important step towards expanding this ecosystem of medical learning and practicing within the state.”