WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Researchers and faculty in several medical health programs at Purdue University were in the beginning phases of moving into their new home Friday.
Lyles-Porter Hall, at University and Harrison streets in West Lafayette, will house Purdue's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. The building is scheduled to open for the start of fall classes, though no formal opening date has been set.
A plaque near the main entrance recognizes the collaboration between the nationally ranked department and several other medical health programs that will call the building home, including the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette program.
The building bears the name of Marybeth Lyles-Porter Higuera of Visalia, California, who provided a $10 million gift to the $54 million project. Lyles-Porter earned a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology in 1959.
"This is the first time in decades that one of the best departments in the country will be under one roof," Keith Kluender, head of the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, told the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/1qDektU ).
The department is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, but until the creation of the Lyles-Porter Hall, department members have relied on research and classroom space spread throughout campus.
The speech, language and hearing sciences department is recognized for research in areas including child language development, brain mechanisms in stuttering and other language processing, as well as research in speech challenges for Parkinson's disease patients, basic mechanisms of hearing and assistive hearing devices. Graduate students and researchers see more than 2,000 patients annually, Kluender said.
With research labs for a variety of clinical settings, including nursing, psychology and audiology and state-of-the-art equipment in more than 20 laboratories, graduate students and researchers will be working with patients collaboratively across departments and throughout the building.
"For many people, this building will be the face of Purdue," Kluender said.
It's a new facility for the M.D. Steer Audiology and Speech-Language Clinics that serve multiple counties and are a hearing health care provider for newborns and infants who have been identified with hearing loss. Nearly 30 sound booths have been installed; two are dedicated to the study of hearing impairment in infants.
The hearing clinic averages 1,700 patient visits a year; the speech clinic averages 2,500.
A preschool and afterschool programs for hearing-impaired children will be moved to Lyles-Porter Hall. Both are currently at Morton Community Center.
The IU School of Medicine-Lafayette program will be housed in Lyles-Porter Hall. Each year 32 first- and second-year IU medical students are placed at the regional site, and after the new facility opens, that number will be increased to 48 and will expand to include third- and fourth-year students who will do clinical rotations in Greater Lafayette.
The space also includes an 850-space attached parking facility.
Other programs and centers that will be based in Lyles-Porter Hall are:
— A.H. Ismail Center for Health, Exercise and Nutrition: This fitness center, operated by the Department of Health and Kinesiology, features equipment and trainers in cardiovascular and strength training. Students gain clinical experience in health and fitness testing, exercise prescription, exercise leadership, counseling and management. This will be an addition to the original site at Lambert Fieldhouse.
— Nursing Center for Family Health: This will be relocated from Johnson Hall. The center gives nursing students clinical experience and provides free health promotion screenings for Purdue employees, their spouses, graduate students and university retirees.
— Nutritional Training and Research Center: Students in the training aspect of the program can provide clinical experience for nutrition science students. Space has been designated for research studies coordinated by the faculty in the Department of Nutrition Science.
— Purdue Psychology Treatment and Research Clinics: Lyles-Porter Hall will offer psychological services to adults, children and families in the community. Therapists are qualified psychologists-in-training who are supervised by licensed faculty members from the Department of Psychological Sciences.
Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com
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