Hall progress
A steel beam signed by faculty, staff and construction workers is lifted into place atop Betty Irene Moore Hall.

Four months into construction on Betty Irene Moore Hall and crews celebrated the first milestone on the project: putting the final steel beam in place. Faculty and staff of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, along with leaders from UC Davis Health and construction crews, celebrated the topping out of Betty Irene Moore Hall on March 1 on the UC Davis Sacramento campus last November. The event offered the opportunity to mark the first milestone in progress.

“Betty Irene Moore Hall represents a tangible manifestation of our vision being actualized and supports a transformation in health care,” said Heather M. Young, founding dean of the School of Nursing. “For years we have focused on developing our programs, our faculty, our team and our students. I’m excited to finally have a home where we can thrive.”

Betty Irene Moore Hall serves as the fourth structure in the educational core of the campus located at the corner of Y Street and Second Avenue. Once complete in fall 2017, the $50 million, 70,000-square-foot building will feature collaborative learning spaces rather than traditional classrooms. Planned state-of-the-art simulation suites will engage students through interactive learning platforms and further the school’s capacity to advance health and transform health care. It will also provide flexible spaces needed to prepare future health professionals in nursing, medicine, health informatics, public health and more. The topping out tradition began in Scandinavian countries when homebuilders marked the setting of the last and highest wood beam with a meal for all the workers and a toast to continued success. The beam is painted white and signed by all the construction workers and the people involved in the building. Crews from the construction firm of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., which leads the design-build effort, joined School of Nursing faculty and staff in the event.

“This is a major milestone in the next step of developing the UC Davis Health education core,” explained Joel Swift, director of the Facilities and Planning and Development Division of UC Davis Health. “This facility will bring a new level of educational opportunities and expand our capabilities not only with the number of rooms, but some exciting areas in simulation and learning experiences beyond sitting in a lecture hall.”

The building advances UC Davis’ innovative use of and national recognition for clinical simulation. It will feature simulation labs where care scenarios play out on one side and debriefing rooms on the other side provide an environment to discuss bedside decisions. Plans call for an inpatient eight-bed hospital ward, task and anatomy skills labs, a 15-room primary-care clinic and a one-bedroom apartment as part of the simulation suite. In addition to the new building, renovations are also underway in the adjacent Administrative Support Building. Crews are transforming 15,400 square feet of office space into active-learning classrooms.

“From architects and engineers to those who will ultimately use this building, hundreds of people have helped design Betty Irene Moore Hall,” Young added. “We now look forward to the ribbon cutting later in 2017.”