New building welcomes first students

New classroom building offers state-of-art amenities


The 220year wait for a new building is over. PNW has opened the Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building.

The 22-year wait for a new building is over. PNW has opened the Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building, outfitted with advanced technology simulating real facilities. 

The 68,000 square-foot Hammond campus building has new amenities for nursing and bioscience students, including life-like mannequins and laboratories that simulate hospital rooms, monitoring stations, and debriefing rooms.

“[The experience is]  as close as the students can get to working in actual facilities from the safety of a laboratory,” said Lisa Hopp, dean of the College of Nursing. “We can control their learning experience, while making things even closer to reality because these rooms look just like a real hospital room would look. It’s really powerful learning, and those nearby debriefing rooms are where you can really capitalize on the simulation.”

The building also meets the student population’s changing needs. As the nursing enrollment has shifted to more full-time students, those students asked for places to hang out. 

 “They were telling us ‘we want somewhere to go between classes, we don’t want to have to sit in our cars,’” said Jacob Lenson, assistant vice chancellor for Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities. “We did our best to accommodate that.”

The building created more student spaces by making offices smaller.  To provide a sense of openness, many office and classroom spaces have glass walls. This offers a unique view for visitors and students that can’t be found anywhere else on campus. 

The building is located along the 173rd Street parking lot, immediately visible to visitors. 

 “We wanted to make a statement to the community about the value of our programs,” said Chris Holford, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “When you look at those facilities, you can see that we put these biology and nursing programs into the most state-of-the-art building that we have.