Henry B. Peters Building Renovation

Why a Renovation?

Founded in 1969, the UAB School of Optometry earned the notable distinction of being the first optometry school located on an academic medical center campus. But it was not until 1974 that the School had its own brick and mortar namesake within the campus footprint – the Henry B. Peters Building.

Over the last 49 years, the UAB School of Optometry has earned tremendous respect among peer organizations for its contributions to optometry and vision science education and research. Today the UAB School of Optometry remains positioned among the top optometry schools in the nation, but with the recognition comes the responsibility to ensure that steps are taken to enhance and strengthen student experiences.

“Student success comes not just from excellence in faculty teaching and mentoring, but also through interaction in the spaces where ideas are generated and knowledge is refined,” says Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, dean of the UAB School of Optometry. “The importance of the learning environment is why we embarked on this renovation project.”

  • “The renovation of the classrooms and the pre-clinical teaching lab will allow incorporation of new technology and teaching tools that the previous space could not accommodate.”

    —Elizabeth Steele, OD, FAAO, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs

  • “Student success comes not just from excellence in faculty teaching and mentoring, but also through interaction in the spaces where ideas are generated and knowledge is refined. The importance of the learning environment is why we embarked on this renovation project.”

    —Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, Dean of the School of Optometry

  • “The renovations show that UAB School of Optometry administration wants to provide students with an up-to-date facility and provide the best learning environment possible.”

    —Amy Brooke Henderson (Class of 2018)

  • “It is incredibly exciting to have top tier facilities to match the world-class optometric education we are receiving at UAB.”

    —Turner Altman (Class of 2021)

  • “These renovations will help to make us better, more productive students and give us a building that matches UAB’s strong status.”

    —Ingrid Murati (Class of 2021)

  • “The updates being made to the Henry Peters Building will allow for a more comfortable studying and learning environment.”

    —Zaid AlJabi (Class of 2020)

Plans for the Henry Peters Building

Renovation plans for the second floor include the expansion of Clinical Evaluation of Visual Systems learning space to include 15 exam lanes, one of which will be an exact replica of the National Board Examination Room. In addition, there will be an adjoining classroom with video access to each lane. The existing standard classrooms will be replaced with a flexible classroom that will allow for small group discussions, analysis and collaboration, and an updated lecture-style classroom.

The third-floor updates will bring an even greater focus to the student experience. A large student lounge will create a much-needed location for daytime breaks, late-night study sessions and general gathering space, with a new locker room and student activity offices located just nearby. The Office of Student Affairs will also move to the third floor, giving the students greater access for daily interactions with the staff.

In 2017, a student lounge and kitchen area on the first floor were revamped, and research space on the fourth floor was also refurbished.

Floorplans

  • Flexible Classroom

    Seating in classrooms with a flexible design can be arranged according to needs, which is ideal for breaking into small groups for activities and discussions.

    Optics Learning Center

    Before students see patients in the clinic, they’ll receive training on how to use optical equipment in the learning centers.

    Lecture-Style Classroom

    This large classroom will have stationary seating for courses taught in a lecture format. Outlets for students’ electronic devices will be available in all classrooms.

    Training Space for Clinical Care

    Students hone their clinical skills in these exam lanes, and an adjoining classroom with video access to each lane will enhance teaching opportunities.
    • Flexible Classroom

      Seating in classrooms with a flexible design can be arranged according to needs, which is ideal for breaking into small groups for activities and discussions.
    • Optics Learning Center

      Before students see patients in the clinic, they’ll receive training on how to use optical equipment in the learning centers.
    • Lecture-Style Classroom

      This large classroom will have stationary seating for courses taught in a lecture format. Outlets for students’ electronic devices will be available in all classrooms.
    • Training Space for Clinical Care

      Students hone their clinical skills in these exam lanes, and an adjoining classroom with video access to each lane will enhance teaching opportunities.
    • Student Locker Room

      Lockers will be larger than students’ current hallway lockers to accommodate the patient care equipment students carry every day.

      Student Affairs Office Space

      With close proximity to gathering spaces like the locker room and lounge, students will have easy access to Student Affairs faculty and staff.

      Student Lounge

      Students can meet for lunch, study in groups and relax in between classes in the student lounge.

      Lecture-Style Classroom

      This large classroom will have stationary seating for courses taught in a lecture format. Outlets for students’ electronic devices will be available in all classrooms.

      Optics Learning Center

      Before students see patients in the clinic, they’ll receive training on how to use optical equipment in the learning centers.
      • Student Locker Room

        Lockers will be larger than students’ current hallway lockers to accommodate the patient care equipment students carry every day.
      • Student Affairs Office Space

        With close proximity to gathering spaces like the locker room and lounge, students will have easy access to Student Affairs faculty and staff.
      • Student Lounge

        Students can meet for lunch, study in groups and relax in between classes in the student lounge.
      • Lecture-Style Classroom

        This large classroom will have stationary seating for courses taught in a lecture format. Outlets for students’ electronic devices will be available in all classrooms.
      • Optics Learning Center

        Before students see patients in the clinic, they’ll receive training on how to use optical equipment in the learning centers.

      Timeline

      Complete

      March 2017

      Board Approval of Architect
      Complete

      July 2017

      Construction Document Phase
      Complete

      September 2017

      Bid out for Construction
      Complete

      November 2017

      Bid Approved
      In Progress

      December 2017

      Third-Floor Renovations Start

      May 2018

      Third-Floor Renovations Complete

      May 2018

      Second-Floor Renovations Start

      December 2018

      Second-Floor Renovations Complete

      How to Give

      Giving opportunities are available for spaces including the student locker room, classrooms, exam rooms, conference rooms, waiting rooms and offices. For more information, contact Sommer Thompson, senior director of development, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 205-934-9838.

      Give Now: Optometry Building & Renovation Fund