Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation design, Springfield, Illinois

Project Summary

The Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation (MCLI) on the Memorial Medical Center campus in Springfield, Illinois, is a place for Springfield’s medical community and the public to gather, learn, share and experience medical, health and wellness practices hands on. The MCLI offers advanced clinical and surgical skills training, employee education and development and community health education activities for Memorial Health System employees, Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine residents, physicians and health-care students and the public.

The MCLI offers state-of-the-art simulation training for Memorial’s staff and clinical partners. Numerous community events also are held in the MCLI’s meeting rooms and auditorium. The Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance — a partnership between Memorial Health System and SIU HealthCare — is housed on the fourth floor of the center. The Alliance’s focus is to develop innovative solutions for improving health-care quality, safety, access and community outcomes.

Hanson provided structural engineering design services for the steel-framed MCLI. The project involved providing planning and design for the 70,000-square-foot facility and an 86-foot-long, single-span pedestrian bridge that connects the learning center with a parking garage. Hanson used building information modeling software to design and draw the structural construction documents.

Hanson’s structural engineers took into account the design of the 350-seat auditorium on the first floor, vibrations between floors and differences in and changes to the building’s varying structural systems. The building’s design also was altered from three stories to four stories — after the steel had been fabricated and the first 435-ton load had been delivered to the project site. Structural engineers’ preliminary designs for the new fourth floor indicated that the middle of the building could be raised 14 feet, 6 inches and a sandwich column added between the second floor and the third floor.

The materials and methods used in the design and construction of the MCLI combined to create a user-friendly educational center with 10 hands-on health-care simulation labs, including an operating room, intensive care area, exam rooms, nursing station, a high-tech ambulance simulator and a home setting designed to provide realistic, practical learning and lifesaving opportunities in an interactive learning environment. The main-floor auditorium has an adjacent meeting area and hospitality suite. The first floor also offers a café for MCLI employees and visitors. The upper floors feature large classrooms with tiered seating, meeting rooms and labs.