The new facilities, located in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Ed Allen Hall at Mountain Home, now have more space for its growing enrollment, according to Department Chairwoman Dr. Patricia King.
“This space has been the home of ETSU Physical Therapy for the last 20-plus years, and we’re here to celebrate today and open this space for its second renovation since the ETSU P.T. program started in the ’90s,” she said ahead of the ribbon-cutting.
When the physical therapy department began over 20 years ago, its space on the Veterans Affairs campus only accommodated 24 students. In the years since, the department’s student body has grown to about 40, creating the need for reconfigured classrooms, office spaces and new audiovisual classroom technology.
Planning for the upgrades, which King said also includes new spaces for students to eat, relax and work in small groups, began in late 2016. The department was then relocated to the ETSU Valleybrook Campus from August 2017 to June 2018 while the $2 million renovations continued.
Overall, King said the new spaces for students and increased classroom capacity will enhance teaching and learning capabilities within the program.
“It’s much more functional than it was,” she said.
Dr. Don Samples, dean of the ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, said he was pleased to see the new renovations unveiled Wednesday.
“It’s important to note that this program has quickly advanced to one of our flagship programs in the college over this short 21-year span,” he said. “This newly-renovated space continues to advance the program’s reputation by offering a program of study in state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, student study areas and small group seminar rooms that will enhance the interaction with our faculty.”
Following the ribbon-cutting, members of the campus community and public were invited to take a tour of the new facilities.