Jane E. Heminger Hall opens to promote health and well-being with relaxation rooms and natural design in mind

Ohio State University will open a new location for the College of Nursing. Credit: Cori Wade

Jane E. Heminger Hall, an educational building in the College of Nursing, opened to the public on Monday and focuses on design that promotes health and wellness opportunities for students and faculty.

The room is designed to facilitate the student experience through natural design, modernized classrooms, a kitchen and small areas to take a break from what can be a lengthy schedule. Laurel Van Dromme, chief of strategic partnerships and special projects at the state of Ohio, said the construction of Heminger Hall and the renovation of the first floor of the affiliate Newton Hall cost $ 30.7 million.

“Having an environment that supports health and wellbeing like our program here at the university just somehow align what we do and how we think, teach or practice or work with the spaces we find ourselves in.” Van Dromme said.

Van Dromme said Heminger Hall, located at 1577 Neil Ave., will be the first Ohio State building to receive WELL certification, meaning it has received positive scores in its environmental characteristics that affect health and on human well-being. These characteristics include air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind, according to the GOOD v2 Standard of construction.

The Heminger family promised a gift of naming for the building in 2021 after Jane Heminger’s nursing career. Gary Heminger, husband of Jane Heminger and member of the Ohio State Board of Trusteesstated in a virtual inauguration ceremony that he is proud of his wife’s past work and that he believes in the board’s vision of “transform health and improve life “.

Van Dromme said that one of Heminger Hall’s main characteristics is its attention to natural sounds, images and light. He said the design was inspired by a conservatory, complete with real indoor trees, a fireplace, natural wood finishes, large windows, and the quiet sounds of flowing water.

“Bringing in natural sunlight makes a big difference to an individual’s attitude and emotional well-being,” said Van Dromme.

Katie Strayer, a third year of nursing and a student assistant at the room, said that Heminger Hall’s new features make a huge physical and mental difference in one’s ability to learn and focus.

“I have a lesson on Mondays that last three and a half hours,” Strayer said. “Nursing classes, the closer you get to the program, they tend to get denser and longer, so when you’re sitting in a dark room for so long, you can’t learn. You get distracted. In a more breathable space, I think it will be really conducive to long lessons. “

Van Dromme said Heminger Hall’s classrooms were built with long lectures in mind as all tables are spaced correctly and have sockets for students to plug in tablets and laptops.

For non-nursing students and faculty, Strayer said the new building still has a lot to offer in terms of health and wellness.

“I think the open lighting, all the greenery and natural wood on the walls is a very welcoming environment if you need to take a break,” Strayer said. “It’s not as hectic of a studio environment as other buildings can be.”

Van Dromme said students and employees can have a homey vibe in Barbara and Lawrence Berger’s nutrition demonstration kitchen on the first floor for eating, learning to cook, and preparing healthy meals they can make themselves.

Strayer said the building has rooms where students can take a break whenever they need it.

“We also have these things called respite rooms,” Strayer said. “It’s basically a chair or two, a coffee table and a lamp, and then you can just close and lock it and then it’s literally just a wellness room to take a break from it all.”

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