To enter Federal Hall, Columbia College’s newest building, you ascend a wide stone staircase into an airy, modern foyer. There’s a glass conference room to the left and offices beyond. This is the new home of the Online Campus.
Taking the elevator to the second floor, you walk down a similarly modern corridor with classrooms and other facilities to the right into a — hospital?
There are at least a dozen beds, private rooms and the squiggle and cheep of modern technology. But only one patient surrounded by some very interested individuals.
“I don’t feel well,” Simon says. The onlookers lean forward. He coughs. Not a light cough, either. A hacking, rasping, something is seriously wrong with me cough.
“I feel like I could die.”
The onlookers break out into laughter.
The patient is SimMan, dubbed Simon by nursing students, a fully programmable mannequin of such sophistication you can feel a radial (wrist) or carotid artery (neck) pulse, watch Simon have a terrible reaction to a drug, blink, cry, cough or go into cardiac arrest.
And the onlookers are representatives of Commerce Bank, Boone County National Bank, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Columbia College’s Board of Trustees and other good friends of the college taking a tour at the building’s dedication.
To mark the occasion, President Gerald Brouder announced a gift of $110,000 for the Nursing Program from the William T. Kemper Foundation and Commerce Bank, which will pay for Simon, among other items.
Federal Hall also boasts a state-of-the art media lab complete with green screen, a 32-station computer lab and the Columbia College Nursing Network, a video link allowing full interactivity between nursing students and instructors in Columbia and at the college’s Lake of the Ozarks campus.
At the ribbon-cutting, Linda Claycomb, instructor and director of the Nursing Program, said, “What a wonderful day for Columbia College. What a wonderful day for nursing.” She also thanked Brouder for the building, calling him “Columbia College’s head nurse” (Brouder has four degrees in nursing).
She then quoted Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
“Columbia College’s Nursing Program has realized its dream today with the dedication of Federal Hall,” she said.
“Welcome to downtown!” added Teresa Maledy, president and CEO of Commerce Bank's Central Missouri Region, a long-time college supporter whose mother earned two degrees at the college. “Thank you for giving life to this beautiful building.”
Brouder noted that Federal Hall joins a life sciences axis cutting east-west across the state and north-south from Discovery Ridge through the university and Federal Hall to the hospitals along I-70 in Columbia.
“We’ve been a solid presence on the northern border of Columbia for 160 years,” he said. “Now we are downtown, too.”
Meanwhile, back on the second floor, poor Simon is undergoing another crisis.