WVSOM President informs Lewisburg Rotary



Artist’s rendering of the tower of the future Student Center at WVSOM, which will become the tallest building structure in Lewisburg.
Artist’s rendering of the tower of the future Student Center at WVSOM, which will become the tallest building structure in Lewisburg.

Doctor Michael Adelman, president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), spoke to Lewisburg Rotarians on Sept. 9 about the school’s plans for current and future construction projects.

Adelman expressed an interest in the Rotarians helping to inform the community about the plans to expand its Clinical Evaluation Center (CEC), build a new student center and eventually create a new entry road to the campus from Route 219.

The existing CEC houses the standardized patients (actors) and the robotics. WVSOM recently acquired its twenty second robot. The standardized patients and robots allow for the safe practicing of safely simulated medical protocols and techniques such as shots without harming humans. Mistakes made on the robots are simply lessons learned.

The CEC will add approximately 19,000 square feet to the current 20,000 square feet of instructional space. This will include a new great lecture hall with a capacity for around 216 students. Construction on the new addition will begin in October 2013 and an estimated completion within 12 months.

In the spring of 2014 WVSOM will begin construction of a brand new 56,000 square foot student center. This will be a two story building with a 125 foot tall tower, which will become Lewisburg’s tallest building structure. The student center will house a real food service for students and the public. The student bookstore will become a larger, more varied two story retail market. The public will be welcome to shop there.

Adelman says, “Of special interest to the community will be a new common convention center.” The convention center will have state of the art equipment, a stage and green room; and will be available to the community to use for theater events, concerts or town hall meetings. There will be seating for over 1,000 people and will take two years to complete construction.

After the first two projects are complete, the WVSOM campus would like to have street visibility as any other major medical school does. This will be done using their property, and the study and input from the Department of Highways to build a new road from Route 219 to an improved Lee Street fronting the main campus.

Adelman received questions from the Rotarians and explained there are no plans to expand the size of its student body. About 200 students are admitted each year out of over 5,000 applicants. The cost is approximately $6.9 million and $25 million for the CEC and new student center respectively. The school is debt free and will not be borrowing the money to complete the projects.

In regards to parking, there are no immediate plans to increase parking. Any parking spaces taken to allow for building will be replaced spot for spot on the campus. There are around 450 students on campus for the first two years of study and then the students are placed around the state for completion of their program.

Lastly, Adelman explained the need for the increased visibility of the school. He says WVSOM is number one out of about 150 medical schools in the United States in placing doctors in rural areas in our state, the country and the world. Even with that truth, WVSOM needs better recognition in the state to participate on the same level as all other major medical schools. As anyone travels through a city with a major university, they usually pass by a visible campus. Lewisburg does not have this yet.