Suzi Kamp – who teaches a dental program for Fort Wayne Community Schools – had a goal for her classroom at the new Parkview Education Center: She wanted it to look like a dentist's office.
The longtime instructor's classes previously met downtown at the FWCS Career Academy at Anthis, where space was tight, she said. Hers was among four health science programs that made the move to the northwest Fort Wayne site.
“This is a dream come true,” Kamp said in her spacious, window-lined room during an open house Tuesday at the Parkview Education Center near Lima and West Cook roads.
She wasn't the only person who gushed about the facility, which FWCS shares with Ivy Tech Community College and Parkview Health. Others noted its bright, cheery atmosphere and its state-of-the-art equipment.
The center was developed with the vision of creating innovative learning experiences for health science students by exposing them to others in the field.
Ivy Tech's accommodations include an anatomy lab, a kinesiology lab and general classrooms. It shares a floor with FWCS.
Vickie Williams, a certified nursing assistant instructor for FWCS, sees benefits in having high school students learning near Ivy Tech students. The older students could become role models for the younger set and help them realize what lies beyond high school, she said.
North Side senior Danielle Wright, who is in Williams' class, said she loves being at the Parkview Education Center. It feels like she and her classmates are there to learn medicine, she said.
Her classmate Ivan Uzhca put it another way.
“It makes me feel like I'm getting ready for my future,” he said.
They look the part, too. The high school students wear scrubs. Other rules about hair, shoes and jewelry also apply, Wright said.
Wright, who aspires to become a pediatric nurse practitioner in oncology, said it's refreshing to work with the tools she will need for her career. She also appreciates opportunities to connect with Parkview staff, who have visited her class, she said.
Parkview, which occupies a separate floor at the center, is using the space for a consolidated training center. Before, employees said, training was spread among various locations.
Some rooms are equipped for employees who handle scheduling while others are set up to simulate emergency and operating rooms. Having these areas gives medical professionals an opportunity to practice various scenarios as well as such tasks as opening sterile supplies.