MDL or Frankenstein’s laboratory?
MDL. The name alone probably conjures up memories of long hours of study for many UFCD grads. Opened in the early 1970s with the completion of the Communicore Building, the college’s two MDLs, short for multidisciplinary teaching laboratories, remained unchanged for decades—stuck in that ‘70s groove.
Expansion of the Health Science Center’s computer testing area has facilitated at least one of the labs moving into renovated space with a whole new look! Dentistry’s newly renovated MDL6 is a unique teaching and learning environment designed to facilitate social interaction among freshmen and sophomore dental students. LCD projector and screen to facilitate classroom instruction, new lounge furniture, dining/study tables, new lockers, and a kitchen with refrigerators, microwave ovens, sinks and counter space create an inviting atmosphere for students to study and socialize.
It’s a big improvement according to dental sophomore Daniel Bass, who says the old MDLs looked a lot like Frankenstein’s basement.
“The old MDL had hard, ugly floors with wires hanging all over the place from the ceiling. Old TVs and computers that always broke down,” said Bass. “I used to avoid the old MDLs at lunch, but the difference is night and day. Now I love it and lots of people go there for lunch. It’s so much more comfortable.”
Bass said the room size of MDL6 is a big improvement too.
“The room is large enough to accommodate our whole class. In the past, our class was split into the two MDLs for histology lab, which sometimes created confusion between the two professors on certain things they told us to focus on for studying. Now everyone can be taught the same thing with both professors in the new MDL. I think that is a big advantage in taking the course.”
The remaining lab, MDL3, is in vintage 1970s condition, but is far from “shabby chic.” Slated for renovation into a student study center and computer lab, fundraising for the MDL3 makeover has been recently initiated and is expected to cost $300,000.