Renovations enhance learning for changing health care environment

August 1, 2023
Student working in Pharmacy Skills Lab

To continue to give students and faculty access to state-ofthe-art facilities, Henry Mann, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, FASHP, dean and professor at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy (COP), made renovations and expansions a priority at the start of his deanship 10 years ago.

The college’s Office of Advancement helped secure funding and critical support for renovations in both Parks Hall and the Riffe Building. These renovations upgraded classrooms, libraries and laboratories so students and faculty could conduct and experience 21st century science and learning in a 21st century environment.

“Upgrades were critical to Ohio State staying at the forefront of pharmacy education,” Dean Mann said.

High-Throughput Screening Facility

A major approach to drug discovery is high-throughput screening, and researchers at COP and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) gained access to it in summer 2022.

A partnership between COP and OSUCCC – James funded and built a $3 million small molecule high-throughput screening facility that allows for synergies in the discovery and development of new cancer therapeutics.

The completed facility resides in the COP Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology space in Parks Hall and is accessible to faculty at the OSUCCC – James, COP and the greater Ohio State community. The partners share intellectual property revenue from current and future cancerrelated drugs, devices and other technologies developed by researchers occupying the space. COP and OSUCCC – James share the costs to acquire patents and associated legal fees.

Riffe Classroom

The Riffe Classroom (112/115 Riffe Building) is an activelearning classroom that utilizes advanced technology to enhance the experience for students and educators alike. This classroom seats 150 and overlooks Ohio Stadium while featuring flexible furniture, whiteboards and digital screens so that every student has a front-row seat.

Dr Antwi teaching in the Riffe Classroom

The classroom was built in 2019 to accommodate incoming class sizes and seats all incoming Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students during their weeklong orientation.

Parks Hall fifth floor renovations

As a part of the college’s drug discovery partnership, the OSUCCC – James helped fund a $1.9 million lab renovation project on the fifth floor of Parks Hall. The project started in December 2021 and was completed in November 2022. 

Renovations allowed COP to move three faculty members from the Biomedical Research Tower to Parks Hall. Before construction, the labs were unusable due to outdated equipment and a lack of room, so renovations allowed the college to make functional use of the space.

Renovations help advance pharmacy practice

Implemented in 2015, COP updated its PharmD curriculum to develop a more patient care-focused pharmacy professional. To assist students in learning the skills needed to succeed in the modern profession, the second floor of Parks Hall was completely reworked. More than 100 donors came together to help fund these spaces for our students, including:

  • The Maryann Z. and Larry Kennedy Sterile Compounding Room
  • The Meijer Foundation Pharmacy Skills Classroom, a technology-enhanced classroom set up for  active learning
  • The Ric Mora Pharmacy Simulation Classroom
  • The Health Care Logistics, Inc. and the Gary and  Connie Sharpe Family Pharmacy Skills Laboratory,  a 40-workstation skills lab
  • The Mark and Linda Sirgo Counseling Suite, featuring  11 technology-enhanced counseling rooms

Around $2 million was invested in renovations and the expansion of the pharmacy practice labs, which now give students an area for active learning that is critical to their educational experience. Many others came together to sponsor the workstations and counseling rooms in the counseling suite.

Maryann Z. and Larry Kennedy Sterile Compounding Room
The Maryann Z. and Larry Kennedy Sterile Compounding Room
The Meijer Foundation Pharmacy Skills Classroom
The Meijer Foundation Pharmacy Skills Classroom

During this time, the college, with the help of many donors, raised the most money that the college has ever raised in a single year for facility improvements.

“Students often would end up in hallways to participate in counseling exercises and they have no opportunity to review their performances. New lab spaces include specially equipped counseling rooms to allow students to review recordings of their performance and self-assess progress toward course and program goals.”

Katherine Kelley, PhD
Associate Dean for Assessment and Strategic Initiatives

Latiolais Suite

In April 2022, the Clifton J. Latiolais Library and Allinson Family Classroom officially opened – a two-room suite that gives the Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership (MS/HSPAL) program a permanent place in Parks Hall to honor the impact of the program and the legacy of Clifton J. Latiolais, ScD, the first pharmacy director of the Ohio State University Hospitals and founder of the MS/HSPAL program and residency at the College of Pharmacy.

The suite began as an idea that took over a decade of dedication from many committed alumni, faculty and staff members to make a reality.

Improving community experience

In 2022, additional renovations and expansions were completed, fostering a more professional environment and better community experience outside of classrooms and labs. These include:

  • The creation of a quiet student study space on the first floor of Parks Hall
  • The renovation of the second-floor restrooms, including adding a gender-neutral restroom
  • The addition of a meditation room
  • The addition of a lactation room
  • The creation of an office suite for the Office of Experiential Education

Additional Learning spaces

University Libraries announced in spring 2023 that they would change their service model for supporting faculty and students in the biological sciences and pharmacy programs and would no longer occupy a physical space in the Riffe Building that overlooks Ohio Stadium. 

The library will close at the end of autumn semester 2023 and the college will create modern learning spaces, smallgroup meeting rooms and student study spaces. The construction will begin in January and is expected to finish in 2025.


These projects would not have been made possible without the incredible support of the college’s generous alumni, donors and friends. Philanthropy gives the college’s students, faculty and staff access to state-of-the-art facilities and ensures they have the tools they need to thrive in the classroom and beyond. The gifts that made these spaces possible will continue to impact hundreds of students each year – equipping them with the right tools to move the profession of pharmacy forward.