Designed to be the center of the West Virginia School Of Osteopathic Medicine’s campus, the newly completed student center is all it should be. Under construction for two years, the 67,849 square foot student center will present a stunning focal point for one of the most respected osteopathic schools in the country. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, set for Aug. 26, beginning at 1:30 p.m., will celebrate the completion of the $24 million project.
With its signature clock tower, the student center will be a landmark building on campus and will serve as both the physical and social heart of the campus for both students and faculty. Created by the Woolpert architectural firm, the student center has modern lines, employing brick and glass, and open, flowing spaces. The overall affect compliments and enhances the surrounding campus structures. The clock tower, visible from almost anywhere in Lewisburg, is 125 feet high and serves as a beacon for the community.
“We wanted a new face that departs from the military school and establishes a new facade and brand for the school,” said WVSOM President Michael Adelman, D.O., J. D. “What WVSOM is about is the students. We want to make sure they have the best environment.”
The ground floor houses all student activities, starting with a two-story student study lounge overlooking an inviting promenade, plus a quiet study space, both with comfortable, plush seating scattered about. The student government and affairs center, a student copy center and a campus store are also located on the ground floor, as are the student recreation lounge and a food court.
The full service cafe will provide students with a more robust dining option without having to leave campus, offering breakfast and lunch daily. The student recreation lounge is a welcome and relaxing environment open 24/7 for students to take a break from the demands of their study regimen, offering plenty of couch space, a large flat-screen TV, a pool table, a ping-pong table, foosball table and a dartboard. An outdoor amphitheater is another area where students can mingle and gather on the large cement tiered seating set with a view of the campus.
The conference center will offer a wide range of usefulness for community access and use, as well as for WVSOM ceremonies and celebrations. With nearly 1,000 theater-style seating, a full stage and green room, the auditorium can also divide into five separate rooms, as needed, for any conference event. The conference center is located on the upper floor, where a magnificent terrace view overlooks the campus.
The vision and involvement for the construction of this building was a four-year study process that included the participation of faculty, staff, students, board members, donors and community leaders, said Adelman.
In 1972, four osteopathic physicians envisioned a medical school on the grounds of a former military school in Greenbrier County. Since then, and “against all odds,” the WVSOM facility has grown over the years with the installation of several structural enhancements, including additional classrooms, an anatomy lab, a clinical evaluation center, which includes the installation of several robotic simulation rooms, a clinical training center, a fitness center, and now, finally, a student center.
WVSOM is the number one school for placement of rural physicians in the state, region and nation. Locally, the school is an economic engine in the community, and receives over 4,000 admissions applicants every year from all over the country. Only 200 are accepted. WVSOM’s evaluation process is like no other medical school’s entry process. According to Adelman, students are evaluated with a view towards demonstrating character and a communal spirit, two valued attributes that uniquely qualifies them upon graduation to practice medicine in the under-served communities of West Virginia. In this way, Adelman said, “We have the chance to pick the best and the brightest.”