February 20, 2020

A Healthy New Hall

New Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine building to be completed in December

By Bekah Bostick | For The Post

T he new Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine building has been in the works for over six years, and the end is in sight.

In December 2020, the new HCOM building will be finished at 191 W. Union Street. The new facility makes innovative, purpose-built spaces for medical education possible as well as fundamental changes to the way HCOM works and improvements to its research and community outreach initiatives, according to the HCOM website.

According to a video made by Ohio University Communications, the purpose of this new HCOM building is to provide a new space for students to work together in a team-based fashion.

The new building has a very strong push for more team-based learning, including rooms that can be transformed from large group learning to team-based learning. Traditional lecture style seating is not an ideal way for students to interact with each other, according to the video. By building a new facility for students to learn in, the future and the new ways that students learn today with technology are being considered.

The new building and curriculum will have fewer lecture style classes and more collaboration between students and faculty, according to the video. Typically, when students go to meet with professors, there is a desk separating them, and there is a known presence of power or intellectual walls. In the new curriculum, there is a new approach of faculty and students working side by side with each other on the same goals.

The new building wants to promote a sense of unity, Larry Witmer, a professor of paleontology, said in the video.

Heritage Hall


An artist's sketch of what the building would potentially look like.

The building will be known as Heritage Hall and will be honoring the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and osteopathic medicine as a whole, Terri Donlin Huesman, president and CEO of Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, said. The new hall will continue to create new and innovative ways to empathically heal and help the people who future physicians will serve.

Heritage Hall will be the only WELL Certified Medical Education Building on OU’s campus as well as one of the first in the nation, Noel Davis, a project manager in HCOM, said. That WELL certificate means every space in Heritage Hall will have wellness linked to it.

The WELL Standard looks at features of the new building that will impact human wellness and well-being. There are certain elements of the building that are featured because of it being a WELL certified building, including a fresh food in-house cafe, fitness room, abundance of natural light from skylights, adjustable desk and seating options, non-toxic construction materials, filtered water at every faucet and more.

Heritage Hall will also be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified, according to the HCOM website. LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Having all new buildings be LEED-certified is a university standard for all new construction projects.

Heritage Hall will be three stories and 120,000 square feet,as well as $65 million to construct. Previous to the Board of Trustees meeting in January, the board was going to give $9 million toward the new building. Now the board will be giving another $56 million. The Heritage College gave $5 million, and $6 million came from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, according to a statement released by HCOM.

The cafe will be named after the OU HCOM’s Society of Alumni & Friends.

That group donated $150,000 to the college’s general support fund. At the end of 2019, the Society of Alumni & Friends, or SoAF, gave $25,000 and will continue to give that same amount each year for the next five years. In honor of the generosity that this group has given to the College, the cafe will be called the Heritage College Society of Alumni & Friends Cafe at Factory Street.

AUTHOR: Bekah Bostick
EDITOR: Abby Miller
COPY EDITOR: Bre Offenberger
PHOTO: Provided by Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine