Fresno State students will soon have a new place to practice physical therapy.
Located near Barstow Avenue and Campus Drive between the Aquatics Center and the North Gym Annex, the new two-story facility will be home to the physical therapy department and offices for several athletics coaches.
Fresno State broke ground on the new building in May, hoping to grow the college of health and human services.
On Sept. 14, classes will officially take place in the new state-of-the-art lab space, built from steel, glass and cement.
Students in the physical therapy program will use the new facility as a place to learn, collaborate and get hands-on clinical experience.
“We will have two new really large teaching lab rooms, which is just ideal for students,” said Dr. Peggy Trueblood, the physical therapy department chair. “All new high-tech equipment— we can teach contemporary clinical practice.”
Since its doctoral degree program was approved in 2011, the department’s offices have been scattered across three buildings.
Trueblood said it will be great to have all the physical therapy students and faculty under one roof.
“We’ve been spread out on this campus for many years,” Trueblood said. “Students will have their own conference rooms. They’ll have access to the teaching labs so they can practice their skills all the time. Faculty are just down the hall. It’s just going to be so much nicer.”
Dr. Jody Hironaka-Juteau, dean of the college of health and human services, said the new facility will improve communication and collaboration between faculty and students.
The first floor of the 22,000-square-foot facility will include physical therapy offices and laboratory spaces.
The second floor will include coaches offices for men’s and women’s basketball, softball and volleyball, as well as a large team meeting room and a computer lab for student-athletes.
By using a combination of sustainable features, the building is designed to be energy efficient.
“This new facility, along with the construction of the new Aquatics Center, points to an improved collaborative environment for academic and athletic facility users,” Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro said.
Trueblood said the students have been working hard in their current labs, but they’re ready to make the transition on Monday.
“The students haven’t even seen the new building yet,” Trueblood said. “I’m excited to take them over there so they can see what the building looks like.”