Published: September 25, 2015
The new building for physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise science, Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall, was dedicated Sept. 18.
The eight-story building is the latest addition to the Panuska College of Professional Studies.
With 116,360 total square footage, Leahy Hall has 25 laboratories, nine classrooms, several simulation environments and more.
Peter Leininger, Ph.D., O.C.S., chairperson of the physical therapy department, is excited over the influx of high-tech equipment. He described a couple of new rooms with optimal technology, including an anatomy space that will open next semester.
“That’s going to be, pretty much, (a) state-of-the-art ventilation system — excellent lighting, projection system to help with the anatomy,” Leininger said.
He pointed out some of the differences between the past location, Old Loyola, and the current location, Leahy Hall, for some of the departments, including an absence of natural light. He explained that students worked in dark rooms across the basement level, which lacked windows and interior temperature.
“We were in the basement of the hall, so some of the rooms had no light even during the day,” Leininger said. “Some rooms were subterranean almost.”
Junior Catherine Dolisca studies physical therapy, and is also excited to have natural light in the classroom.
“It looks really pretty — I mean I love the view,” Dolisca said. “Having my class on the eighth floor, you can look out the windows and see the whole city, and it’s nice.”
Even The University’s alumni are thrilled over the new building.
“Some (alumni) were envious that they didn’t have the building, but they feel good that we finally have a proper building where it’s very state-of-the-art, open air and again visual,” Leininger said.
Tours have been conducted in the Leahy building to introduce its new features. For example, there is a hospital simulation room on the fifth floor. The room includes four beds complete with white rails and white cloth as well as modern tools found in standard hospitals.
“I have to give much credit to Associate Dean (Victoria) Castellanos, who organized most of the building details down to where the outlets were put and how things were placed in the building,” Leininger said. “She must be very proud and relieved that the building opened on time and it was such a success with the open house.”