Major Upgrades Coming to Paul Hall Center

 

December 2014

 

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Significant upgrades are under way at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, highlighted by new, state-of-the-art simulators that should be ready for use in the first quarter of 2015. The ambitious project also includes classroom expansions, hotel improvements, and numerous technological additions that should facilitate learning at the Piney Point, Maryland, campus.

 

Paul Hall Center Assistant Vice President Bart Rogers said the multi-million-dollar renovation and modernization projects, approved by the school’s trustees, are all slated for completion by late spring or early summer of 2015. That includes redoing all roads and walkways at the school, and various improvements at the library and the apprentice dorms in addition to new bridge, engine, crane and tugboat simulators.

 

While the work is happening fairly quickly, the planning was in-depth.

 

“We reached out to SIU-contracted companies, deep sea and inland, to assess their needs,” Rogers noted. “We also visited other schools to check out their simulators and compare them. We formed a committee to ensure this was a cooperative effort. The results should be extremely beneficial to the students, the vessel operators, the instructors – everyone involved, really.”

 

Susan Fagan, a Paul Hall Center instructor and lead simulation engineer, pointed out the upgrades will help ensure that the school’s offerings “meet and exceed STCW requirements. This includes gap-closing courses and much more.”

 

She added, “The school has always prided itself on staying ahead of the industry’s needs, and these additions really will bring us into the future. It’s an exciting time for us, and I think that’s partly because the people who work here have been closely involved in the process.”

 

Among the companies hired for various components of the project are Transas, Electric Picture Display Systems, and Kongsberg GlobalSim for the LED simulators, and Great Mills Trading Post for the classroom and building renovations. Overall, the scheduled upgrades and additions include: ­

 

-Full mission, 360-degree bridge simulator ­

 

-Full mission engine simulator ­

 

-Engineering lab ­

 

-Liquid cargo handling simulator ­

 

-Three auxiliary bridges ­

 

-Multiple navigation labs ­

 

-Two dedicated tug and towing bridges ­

 

-GMDSS simulator upgrade ­

 

-Crane simulator

 

Rogers said another key improvement involves “making the classrooms multifunctional so that, with few exceptions, instructors can more or less walk into any classroom and teach any class. We’ll have new projectors and instructor stations. It’s going to mean less paperwork and greater efficiency.”

 

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