Project category: New construction (completed December 2003)

Chief administrator: Anita Brown, Chancellor, (704) 783-1555

Firm: Wright McGraw Beyer Architects, (704) 535-6374

Design team: David Wright, AIA, Principal-in-Charge, Project Manager; Michael Moore, AIA, Associate, Project Architect (Wright McGraw Beyer Architects); Randy Ruggles, PE, Structural Engineer (King Guinn Associates, PA); William Carson, Partner-in-Charge, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Electrical (Charlotte Engineers, LLP); Cathy Jurecek Greene, IIDA, Interior Design (HealthCare Interiors, Inc.)

Photography: Michael Moore, WMBA; © James West/

Total building area (sq. ft.): 69,806

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $148

Total cost (excluding land): $10,300,000

The Cabarrus College of Health Sciences draws material inspiration from its context while maintaining a character uniquely its own. Although the predominant cladding materials are borrowed from existing Medical Center facilities, the building's massing and orientation to the adjoining streets exemplify the openness found throughout the surrounding community.

The main lobby is a gathering and orientation point for first-time visitors, as well as a link between the student pavilion, vertical circulation, and student support services. A serpentine curve begins in the main lobby, continues through the student commons, and terminates in the outdoor courtyard with a kiosk made from brick salvaged from the original building. The remainder of the floor is a childcare center designed to accommodate 100 children, which serves both the college and the Medical Center.

The second floor houses an administrative suite, classrooms, and a raised-floor auditorium. Classroom space is double that of the previous location and can support class sizes ranging from 21 to 84 seats.

Laboratories and faculty offices are located on the third floor. The science labs feature split pass-through hoods, which allow both labs to be served by a single preparation area. Both labs can be observed simultaneously, and material can be distributed to both from a single point of service. The surgical technology lab is a simulated operating room, complete with medical gas outlets and a dual-head exam light. The nursing skills lab features five simulated patient beds, which allow professors to simulate multiple bedside conditions.