Media Contact

Anne Taylor Carros
Lord Aeck Sargent
O  404-253-6710

News Releases

August 21, 2013

Morehouse School of Medicine Completes Projects Aimed at Achieving Growth in Educational and Research Programs

Lord, Aeck & Sargent assists MSM in planning and designing projects that have a positive impact on research, instruction and student spaces

ATLANTA, Aug. 21, 2013 – The Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), working in conjunction with architecture and planning firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent (LAS), has completed the first four in a series of planned renovation and facilities expansion projects, all of which are aimed at achieving growth in MSM’s educational and research programs over the next several years.

The four Phase 1 projects were also programmed and designed by LAS. MSM selected the firm in 2009 to provide a facilities plan that would continue to support the school’s mission and goal of increasing the size of its yearly entering medical doctor class by 78 percent, from 56 students in 2009 to 100 by 2016. To that end, LAS developed MSM’s original Westview campus master plan with support from Dober Lidsky Mathey as campus and facility manager, and Clement & Wynn as program manager.

The projects include: the addition of a state-of-the-art animal surgery suite to enhance research into the effective treatment of strokes; a graduate teaching laboratory for doctoral and master’s degree students in the biomedical sciences; a renovated library that optimizes use of existing space and is designed for 21st century study methods; and a renovated research laboratory that has consolidated MSM’s four core biomedical research areas.

Animal surgery suite is focal point of Neuroscience Institute
The first of the four now-completed projects were renovations in the Neuroscience Institute, located in MSM’s Multidisciplinary Research Center.

The focal point of the 4,300-square-foot renovations is an animal surgery suite for small animals. The suite comprises two animal holding rooms – one for pre-op and one for post-op – a procedure room and a necroscopy room. The $490,000 project, which also included the design of a mass spectrometry center and renovated office space, was funded by a combination of money from MSM, the NIH and the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The renovations are enabling the creation of the infrastructure and framework for a stroke program that will make a major contribution to developing novel approaches to reduce the national burden of stroke,” said Andrea Fox, MSM chief planning officer. “Inclusion of the state-of-the-art animal surgery suite has greatly improved MSM’s capacity to conduct meaningful research in this area.”

Grad students get their own learning lab
The next project, a 3,022-square-foot graduate teaching laboratory on the second floor of MSM’s Hugh Gloster Building, now provides graduate students with a much-needed site for early hands-on training in key laboratory skills that they can carry with them as they pursue their advanced biomedical research.

“We designed the graduate teaching lab to provide a dedicated space for the graduate students,” said Warren Williams, LAS principal-in-charge of the MSM campus master plan and ensuing projects. “Now they have their own environment for learning basic lab research techniques such as the use of fume hoods, tissue cultures, electrophoresis and Western blotting.”

Williams noted that the $500,000 graduate teaching lab design was created based on the project-based active learning concept, where technology supports team learning. Teams of six grad students work together surrounded by four monitors set up around the lab perimeter. A large monitor at the front of the room allows the professor to display an image from one team’s work so that all the other teams can see.

“The flexibility of the graduate teaching lab space has also allowed the lab to be used for students in MSM’s pipeline programs in order to encourage and prepare high school and college students to pursue higher education and careers in the sciences,” MSM’s Fox said. “We’re thrilled to have this key addition to our training facilities, as it will benefit our students and research training programs for many years to come.”

The graduate teaching lab – which also includes spaces for students to store equipment, study, eat and interact – was funded from Title III money and private donations.

Reconfigured, renovated library includes reconfiguring dead for usable space
The third and fourth renovation projects, located on the first and second floors of the Medical Education Building, were undertaken simultaneously. First, however, overflow library space on the second floor had to be moved down to the first in order to make way for the core research consolidation project, which was planned to take up the entire second floor.

“Prior to the reconfiguration of the MSM library, a great deal of space was taken up by rows of stacks,” Williams said. “Our design removed many of these rows, and MSM consolidated and digitized the library collection. So we reconfigured the dead space taken up by the stacks for usable space to include a new circulation desk; flexible, new multipurpose teaching space; archival space and administrative support space consisting of 24-hour teaming rooms, conference rooms; and informal reading areas in a brighter setting.”

The 24-hour study, or teaming rooms, each usable by up to six students, include power along the walls for Internet and MSM network access. Each room also sports an interactive white board to encourage team collaboration.

“The library renovations, along with upgraded computers, assure the continued key role of the library as the hub of student learning,” Fox said. “Since the library opened in the first quarter this year, we’ve seen a significant increase in use of all facets of the space.”

Like the graduate teaching lab, the $1.5 million library modernization was funded with Title III monies and private donations.

Consolidated core research lab targets LEED silver certification
The need for creation of a research lab that would centralize MSM’s four biomedical core research areas – Analytical Chemistry and Protein Profiling; Biomedical Technology Service Laboratory; Cells and Tissues; and Gene Profiling – was driven by both the fact that they had been in scattered locations on the Westview campus as well as the need to optimize utilization of space for equipment, prep facilities and human and technical resources.

The 17,603-square-foot, $10 million core research lab, comprises one large open research lab, eight support labs, administrative spaces and restrooms updated to meet ADA standards.

“In addition to the lab space,” Williams said, “we maintained a corridor, which had existing interstitial space for utilities. We added to the interstitial space a cylinder storage room that pipes CO2 to the benches in the open lab and to incubators throughout the space. This allows vendors to refill the cylinder without having to enter the lab.”

The second floor of the MEB renovation project is targeting LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainable design strategies include electrical and mechanical upgrades, including chilled beam technology for cooling; daylighting from the east all the way into the open lab through the use of glass walls; water use reduction; low-emitting materials and finishes; construction waste management; recycled construction materials; and more.

The project was funded with an NIH grant for which LAS helped MSM apply. “Lord, Aeck & Sargent was a partner on the grant application development team and a key to our success in obtaining project funding,” Fox said.

LAS retained as executive architect
“Working with MSM has been an exciting experience in that we’ve been a true partner in helping the school achieve its goal to increase incoming classes each year until there are 100 students in 2016,” Williams said.

“And like all projects that architects undertake, we were presented by challenges,” Williams continued. “Our challenge at MSM was to bring our space planning expertise to a campus that was widely spread out. We addressed that in our campus master plan, and since then we’ve helped MSM to prioritize projects and in effect, have acted as executive architect. We’ve handled everything for MSM, things like move-in and move-out coordination, LEED administration, facilities management, project management and construction management.”

Added Fox, “Together MSM and LAS have planned and completed renovation projects here at MSM that are relatively small but will have great impact on our research, instruction and student spaces.”

Project Teams
The Morehouse School of Medicine Multidisciplinary Research Center surgery suite project team included:
• Lord, Aeck & Sargent (Atlanta office) – architect
• BAA Mechanical Engineers (Atlanta) – MP/FP engineer
• Womack Lundstrom (Atlanta) – electrical engineer (consultant to BAA Mechanical)
• C.D. Moody Construction (Lithonia, Ga.) – construction manager

The Morehouse School of Medicine Hugh Gloster Building graduate teaching lab project team included:
• Lord, Aeck & Sargent (Atlanta office) – architect
• BAA Mechanical Engineers (Atlanta) – MP/FP engineer
• Womack Lundstrom (Atlanta) – electrical engineer (consultant to BAA Mechanical)
• DPR Construction (Atlanta office) – construction manager

The Morehouse School of Medicine library reconfiguration and renovation project team included:
• Lord, Aeck & Sargent (Atlanta office) – architect
• BAA Mechanical Engineers (Atlanta) – MP/FP engineer
• Womack Lundstrom (Atlanta) – electrical engineer (consultant to BAA Mechanical)
• Turner Construction Company (Atlanta) – construction manager

The Morehouse School of Medicine Medical Education Building second floor lab renovation and research core consolidation project team included:
• Lord, Aeck & Sargent (Atlanta office) – architect
• BAA Mechanical Engineers (Atlanta) – MP/FP engineer
• Womack Lundstrom (Atlanta) – electrical engineer (consultant to BAA Mechanical)
• Turner Construction (Atlanta) – construction manager

About Lord, Aeck & Sargent
Lord, Aeck & Sargent is an award-winning architecture and planning firm serving clients in academic, historic preservation, scientific, arts and cultural, and multi-family housing and mixed-use markets. The firm’s core values are responsive design, technological expertise and exceptional service. The firm is listed as 28th in Architect, the Magazine of the American Institute of Architects’ annual “Architect 50” ranking of U.S. architecture firms. The ranking is based on business, sustainability and design excellence/pro bono. In 2007, Lord, Aeck & Sargent was one of the first architecture firms to adopt The 2030 Challenge, an initiative whose ultimate goal is the design of carbon-neutral buildings, or buildings that use no fossil-fuel greenhouse gas-emitting energy to operate, by the year 2030. Lord, Aeck & Sargent has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Lexington, Kentucky. For more information, visit the firm at

About Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)
Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Ga., was founded in 1975 as a two-year Medical Education Program at Morehouse College with clinical training affiliations with several established medical schools for awarding the M.D. degree. In 1981, MSM became an independently chartered institution and the first medical school established at a Historically Black College and University in the 20th century. MSM is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians and was recently recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for its social mission. MSM faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, and are known in the community for exceptional, culturally appropriate patient care.

Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate and master degrees. To learn more visit

# # #