Healthcare Education Facility Design

Hands-on, high-tech simulation labs and learning spaces are key for successful real-life learning opportunities. Modern health sciences and nursing education centers must provide students with the unique experience and skillsets that drive innovation and growth to fully prepare them for a career in the healthcare industry.

These facilities should be designed to adapt to emerging healthcare trends, but also to empower students to dream, innovate, and pave the way for the future of healthcare. Thoughtfully designed collaboration areas and flexible workspaces will allow connections to be generated between students, teachers, professional healthcare leaders and mentors, and the community.

Deeply Rooted in Montana

With our firm’s history and culture deeply rooted in Montana, we’re proud to offer the expertise of more than 20 specialty disciplines with an emphasis on design and planning for healthcare and education facilities. Cushing Terrell’s healthcare design specialists understand what drives effective and efficient patient service, and we take a partner’s interest in our clients’ success.

For more than four decades, we’ve been involved in healthcare planning, design, and construction for multiple healthcare facilities and numerous clients. Addressing each client’s facility and design goals requires a team that has the skills to address all aspects of this effort. For that reason, our integrated team of healthcare-focused architects and  engineers bring tangible value — we understand how to work together for your benefit.

Cushing Terrell has a longstanding, trusted relationship with healthcare entities throughout the state of Montana, as well as the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. Our Montana healthcare team has been proud to serve the following healthcare facilities, and we value the relationships we have built with our local communities’ doctors, administration, patients, and staff along the way.

• Billings Clinic
• St. Vincent Healthcare
• Riverstone Health
• Bozeman Health
• Billings Clinic
• Roosevelt County Medical Center
• Benefis Medical Center
• Glendive Medical Center
• Benefis Medical Center
• Big Horn County Hospital
• Bullhook Community Health Center
• St. Peter’s Hospital
• Logan Health
• Flathead Valley Community College Broussard Nursing Facility
• Phillips County Medical Center
• Highline Retirement Center
• St. Patrick Hospital
• Community Medical Center
• Sheridan Memorial Hospital
• Beartooth Billings Clinic
• Daniels Memorial Hospital
• Prairie Community Hospital
• Broadwater Health Center
Cushing Terrell has diligently and expertly gathered needed information from the variety of user groups that occupy the many, differing lab spaces. In addition to their great expertise with both healthcare and educational requirements, another of their great strengths is the presentation of renderings to greatly help us visualize what the finished product would look like throughout the design process.

Steve Larson | Facilities Director
Flathead Valley Community College
RE: Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing & Health Science

Important Facets of Modern
Education Design

Experiential Learning

To support a hands-on approach where students learn by doing, secondary and post-secondary educational environments are getting a revamp. Our team approaches the design of these facilities from a research perspective, collaborating with local business, industry, and community partners to ensure relevancy. We prioritize the need for future flexibility in order to accommodate growth, new technologies, career proficiencies, and workforce drivers.

What exactly does this look like? It’s not your average classroom or shop. Designs are student-centered, technology-enriched, and include active labs, workshops, project and demonstration areas — places for fabrication, experimentation, research, and development.

Career Technical Education

The need for a skilled workforce in high-demand fields and the ever-increasing cost of a university degree have not only led to a shift in predominant education models, but also an evolution in how we design learning environments. Cushing Terrell has provided professional design, architecture, and engineering services for 200-plus schools in the Intermountain region. We’ve found Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are most successful when their design is guided by these key design principles:

  • Centers are engaging and relevant to all students.
  • Spaces are accessible, visible, and interwoven with academic core.
  • Spaces are flexible, 100% utilized, and easily adapted.
  • Health and safety are interwoven in every space and system.
  • Encourages community, business, and industry partnerships.

Community & Industry Engagement

Stakeholder and community involvement are a key to the success of any CTE project. Having CTE embedded into a school’s curriculum allows for the exploratory classes to be prominently accessible to all students and teachers. We view local industry leaders’ involvement as an opportunity to build connections for students within the community, and to create the necessary support to help transform, mentor, and guide students within their learning communities. This affords them access to hands-on experience, internships, and industry connections before they have even received a diploma.

We use the design process to engage all stakeholders and partners, then have them help shape the design so it truly meets industry training needs. By prioritizing this interaction, not only are the spaces and programs more effective but the partnerships are grown and strengthened.

Words From Our Team Leaders

Corey Johnson, AIA
Principal of Education | Ed. Planner

“Per the U.S. Department of Labor, six of the top 10 jobs in highest demand in 2021 are in healthcare. Colleges and universities are making significant investments in training facilities and health science centers in order to respond to today’s needs and future forecasts. Creating experiential, real-world, hands-on training labs is where the best of education and healthcare design collide.”

Jim Beal, AIA
Principal of Education & Design

“You can’t learn to ride a bike by reading a book. Learning-by-doing is crucial when the stakes are high, and that’s why real-world simulation provides our future healthcare workers with the opportunity to practice life-saving care without risk to patients. Under the watchful eye of professionals, the healthcare model of hands-on learning creates knowledge and builds confidence.”

Featured Healthcare Education Projects

Flathead Valley Community College Broussard Center; Kalispell, MT

This new 33,000 sq. ft. center blends seamlessly with the beautiful campus and houses FVCC’s healthcare education programs including nursing, physical therapy, EMT/paramedic, medical assisting, surgical technology, anatomy and physiology sciences, and new student health services.

The entire center is arranged in a simple manner providing quality wayfinding, daylighting, and flexible spaces that are designed to adapt to varying teaching styles. The dynamic and inviting main lobby serves as a place for social gatherings and study time and offers panoramic views of Glacier Park.

Northwest College Yellowstone Academic Building; Powell, WY

Cushing Terrell partnered with Northwest College to create a new, 47,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art building featuring technology-rich learning labs/classrooms, high-tech nursing simulation labs, forensics lab, and criminal justice simulation lab, as well as community meeting spaces and faculty offices.

With efficiency, value, and personalized sense of place being the main design goal, we stuck to the big ideas of academic function, daylight, and detail. Student collaboration and workspaces were located near office pods to encourage student-faculty interaction. The conference hall is flexible and designed to divide into three standard-size classrooms when needed.

College of Southern Idaho Health Sciences and Human Services Building; Twin Falls, ID

Cushing Terrell provided programming through construction services for the 72,270 sq. ft. HSHS facility. The two-story, LEED Gold-certified building houses CSI’s healthcare education programs, general classrooms, lecture halls, simulation training spaces, and administrative and faculty offices.

The innovative and collaborative nature of the HSHS center provides its students with the unique expertise and skillsets that drive innovation and growth to best prepare them for a field in the healthcare industry. The HSHS is not only built to adapt to the emerging healthcare trends but to empower CSI students to dream, innovate, and pave the way for the future of healthcare.

Carrington [formerly Apollo] College Health Science Center; Boise, ID

The new two-story health sciences classroom, lab building expansion, and parking and landscape renovation at the Boise campus for Carrington College broadened its existing healthcare, massage, and dental programs.

The architecture boasts daylighting through corridor-to-classroom relight windows, corridor skylights, large exterior punched openings, and north-facing lobby spaces. The project also included wood-framed and engineered post and beam structure with brick veneer, cementitious siding, stucco, and glass curtain wall construction.

Connect With Our Team

Reach out and let’s discover how our deep background in healthcare education design can support what you’re trying to accomplish!
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