Cosmetology Department Moves Into New Facilities

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USU Eastern Press Release

USU Eastern’s Cosmetology department has moved into newly remodeled salon and classroom space in the McDonald Career Center building (MCC).

Previously housed in the Student Activity Center (SAC) building, Cosmetology needed to relocate in preparation for the SAC’s scheduled demolition in February. Method Studio of Salt Lake City, who also designed the campus’ new Central Instructional Building, designed the new space that most are simply calling “fabulous.” Shawn Benjamin, lead architect on the project, said, “The new space presented several challenges, architecturally. The cosmetology department was leaving a space that was vastly outdated and progressively becoming a maintenance issue with older mechanical infrastructure and capabilities.

“However, after reviewing several possible locations the final selection posed a spatial challenge relative to the size of the existing program. Aside from updated building systems, the space limitation was the biggest factor in developing the design–efficiency was always on the mind.

“Once a layout and flow was established our interior designers went to work to come up with a scheme that would feel modern, but also allow the program to age gracefully with changing trends. We really tried to make a space that would endure.”

The Cosmetology department officially closed its old location the week of Thanksgiving, and opens in a completely remodeled facility Jan. 13, 2016. The new space, located on the second floor of the MCC, features new amenities and equipment along with a newer look and feel to the entire department. Students and instructors frantically moved equipment, supplies, desks, stations and chairs to their new digs the past five weeks. “We have a lot of stuff to move and it takes a while to get everything in order to open for business when we come back from Xmas break,” associate professor Linda Davis said.

The new area features an eight-station nail lab with six-pedicure chairs. “Each station has a separate ventilation system enabling the fumes to escape through filters,” Debbie Prichard, cosmetology chair, said. “We have always needed a functioning ventilation system and this is the best.” The floor consists of 30-student stations. Because it is located on the second floor, the students will meet their clients on the first floor entrance and walk them either up the
stairs or take the elevator to the lab, Prichard said. “We have a lot of elderly clients and they will struggle with the stairs or walking to the end of the hallway to catch the elevator. This will teach our students great customer service.”

The entrance is encased in glass shelves, white tile and flecked granite. “It’s simply stunning to visualize what the architects designed and had built for us,” Prichard said. A five-chair barbering area is located on the south side of the building for students planning to specialize in becoming a barber.

The total square footage of the area is about 1,000-square feet less than what the program had in the old SAC, said Eric Mantz, associate vice chancellor. “This is the largest space we could find without significantly impacting other programs or incurring considerable additional costs. He said the budget sheet specified a project cost of $332,486. The cabinets, student stations, chairs, desks and bookcases were transported from the SAC’s cosmetology area to the new area. “We tried to keep everything we could from our old area to save on cost for the university,” Prichard said.

The main teaching facility has an “industrial look” with exposed ceilings giving the illusion of a much larger space. All contemporary LED lighting is in every room, plus Neil Breinholt installed a state-of-the-art sound system in every room. All plumbing and electrical has been updated, and the walls were stripped with new wallboard added and lots of nooks and crannies to add dimension and storage to the area. Adjunct instructor Lisa Critchlow, likes the open-space feel the new area has. “It’s bright, has lots of natural light and is one the nicest designed cosmetology schools in the state.” Another adjunct, MarLayne Gordon, likes the way the space is utilized so the instructors can watch each student’s interaction with their clients.

The department will host a grand opening of their new facilities in February, after allowing the students and faculty time to begin the new spring semester and settle into their new space.

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