Frequently Asked Questions

General Building Questions

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What is the construction timetable?

The building construction will be completed by the end of December 2019.  Furniture, equipment and technology installation will follow and be complete by the end of March.

When will the building be occupied?

Occupancy of the building will be phased with all moves complete by the end of June.   The building will officially open on July 1, 2020.

How can I stay updated? on HSEC construction

What are the building hours?

Building hours will be the same for HSEC as for the other health sciences buildings.

What kind of security will be in place?

Badges are required for all students, consistent with the expectations across the health science buildings. An extensive network of security cameras and motion detectors will be in place. Programmable card readers will be used for access to elevators and some rooms depending on the time of day. 

What learners will use the building?

A hope for the HSEC space is to promote interprofessional student learning and connecting. The building will include all learners in the health sciences.

Are there lockers in HSEC?

No. A new secure locker room suite will be constructed on the 2nd floor of the Phillips Wangensteen Building. It is anticipated to be completed in December of 2020.

Are there gender neutral bathrooms?

Yes. Gender neutral bathrooms are available on the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th floors.

What technology will be available in HSEC?

  • Wifi capacity will allow for 4+ devices per person and should be reliable and consistent throughout the building.
  • Electric power should support 4+ devices person.
  • Computers, white boards (portable), projectors and screens will be available in teaching/learning spaces.
  • Library makerspace, and virtual reality and augmented reality (see library details below).

Will there be faculty/administration offices in HSEC?

HSEC is primarily a learner space with very few administrative offices. PWB 3rd Floor will be the location of a main HSEC office that will include HS Classroom Services and will likely include the office of Academic Health Sciences/1Health team, the Disability Resource Center, financial aid, and finger printing services. PWB 5 will be the new home of the Health Sciences Library staff and services. HSEC 6 will be the new home of M Simulation faculty and staff. HSEC 7 will be the new home of the Center for Health Interprofessional Programs (CHIP).

What are the guiding principles developed for the building?

HSEC exemplifies our commitment to excellence in teaching and supports active learning. Within the 202,000 square foot building, HSEC contains 14 active learning classrooms with a combined capacity of 882 students.

The design of active learning classrooms encourages student interaction with each other and with the instructors. It is ideal for small group work and problem solving. It does not favor the use of lengthy lectures for teaching. Instructors who use lecture as their main teaching approach will need to include active learning as part of their everyday teaching.

Luckily, there are plenty of models for effectively transitioning a course using primarily lecture to active learning. There are support resources available for faculty members to transition to an active learning classroom. Additionally, there are resources, such as the Center for Educational Innovation and Teaching Support @UMN that can support faculty with this process.

Different task forces met to define guiding principles for HSEC. These are listed below.

Access and Security

  • Access to spaces should prioritize the interprofessional and interdisciplinary missions of the academic health sciences Schools and Colleges and Health Sciences Library, with a specific focus on educating the next generation of health professionals.
  • Access should be easy for all health sciences students of all identities and abilities, and hours should be responsive to user needs.
  • Access to and within the Center will be balanced with security and safety requirements.
  • These principles apply to overall building access with specific exemptions of the Health Sciences Library and Simulation spaces with unique client needs.


  • Technology and furnishings should support interprofessional and active learning
  • Technology infrastructure should reflect building capacity and multiple devices per person.
  • Technology decisions will be made based on current and anticipated future needs with the full recognition that it will change and need replacement.
  • Adaptability will be an important selection criteria.
  • Technology in rooms must be easily understood, accessible and ready for teaching.
  • Technology Support is critical to the success of HSEC.
  • New and expanded technology capabilities will require new and expanded services.
  • There will be a balance between access and security and we should do our best to lean towards access.
  • Effective communication will support the success of HSEC.


  • Scheduling practices should prioritize the interprofessional and interdisciplinary missions of the academic health sciences Schools and Colleges
  • Priority will be given to courses that are transformed for active learning.
  • The space needs for a given course will be prioritized/determined at the college/program unit 
  • Scheduling of HSEC and other academic health sciences classrooms will be done through centrally supported systems that tie to PeopleSoft (currently Astra Schedule). This is to ensure course activity is directly linked to other student records.
  • Scheduling should reflect endorsed protocols and maximize use. This includes scheduling times will follow the University standard meeting times and meeting times should reflect actual room use.

Student Services

  • Student services space should be used to support students from the Health Sciences schools who are learners in the building.

Scheduling/Classroom Services

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How will scheduling classes be handled?

Scheduling courses for Fall 2020 semester will begin in January 2020. Health Science classrooms will be scheduled through Health Sciences Classroom Services (HSCS), [email protected] .

How can I reserve a space / room / facility for an event (not a class)?

HS Classroom Services will begin scheduling Fall 2020 event requests after Fall 2020 courses have been scheduled. You may submit an event request through the Astra Scheduling Grid, through our HS Room Request Form, or by emailing [email protected] . AHC Classroom Services will hold your request until it can be scheduled.

If using Astra to submit your request, you will need to log in with your x.500 information. You may watch the Astra Schedule tutorial video for assistance.  If you do not have an x.500 login, use the Room Request Form or send an email to [email protected]. Once an event request has been requested, you will receive an email confirmation of the request. When the room has been scheduled, a second confirmation email that includes the room assignment will be sent to you from the Astra system.

What technical support will be available?

Technical support will be available during class hours and will allow for timely solving of any technical issues. Training will be available for all users interested in learning how to use the technology.

Health Sciences Library

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What library resources will be available?

  • Makerspace: The Makerspace will provide the tools and expertise to fuel the development of new ideas for improving healthcare and unlock the creativity of our users.
  • Data + Visualization Lab: In the Data + Visualization Lab, users will get hands-on experience with data science methods and the language and grammar of visualization and receive help applying them to work and communicate more effectively.
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab: The Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab will serve as a hub for University-wide use and exploration of virtual worlds for education, research and patient care.
  • Faculty Commons: The Faculty Commons will serve as a gathering place for interprofessional development, discussion, and innovation, with programming support from librarians, specialists, and community partners.
  • 1:Button Studios: The seven 1:Button Studios, including one in the Faculty Commons, will make it easy for faculty, staff and students to create professional-quality videos that support teaching and learning, research, public communication, and patient care.

What is maker space?

Makerspace is a space designed for hands-on creativity for learning and problem solving that includes the tools and expertise to fuel the development of new ideas for improving healthcare and unlock the creativity of our users.

M Simulation

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What simulation facilities will be available?

  • Centralized enhanced simulation and immersive training environments will be located in HSEC on floors 5 and 6.  Interprofessional teams will be able to train in sophisticated, real-world settings, including both acute and ambulatory care spaces.  
  • The south end of HSEC 5 has 18 out patient exam rooms, a standardized patient gathering space, and brief and de-brief rooms.   
  • The north end of HSEC 6 is hospital based and includes an acute care suite, 2 operating rooms, 7 fully immersive inpatient simulation rooms of varying sizes, a nurse station, med prep room and additional brief and de-brief rooms.  The remainder of HSEC 6 has a Tech Trainer room, a Wet/Dry Training classroom and a simulation workshop.

Student Services

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What student services will be available in HSEC?

Student services space will be located on the 3rd floor of PWB with the exact programming for the space still being evaluated.

CHIP resources?

The Center for Health Interprofessional Programs (CHIP) will be located on the 7th floor of HSEC. CHIP offers health science students unique and innovative opportunities that help them connect, collaborate, network, and develop.

When will study space be available and what space and how can it be accessed?

Study space will be available starting July 1, 2020.  There are approximately 500 seats in open study areas throughout the building.  In addition, the Health Sciences Library has a quiet study space with 155 seats plus 10 small group study rooms.  Health Sciences has15 seminar rooms throughout the building with 16 seats/room that can be used for studying when not in use for classes.  All Health Sciences classroom and study spaces will have card reader access.

What lounge space is in HSEC?

A large Health Sciences interprofessional student lounge will be located on the 7th floor of HSEC with space to accomodate 200 with additional seating in the open lobby space.  There is a kitchen area with sinks, microwaves and refrigerators.

What Wellness / wellbeing space is available in HSEC and how do I access it?

The facility will have 2 wellness/lactation rooms located on the 2nd floor with another located on the 7th floor. Also on the 7th floor is a wellness studio for yoga, etc. Wellbeing is encouraged in different ways throughout the building.