Watching and waiting

The new Farrell Learning and Teaching Center comes together one frame at a time via webcam

Located at the heart of the medical center, the striking six-story Farrell Learning and Teaching Center will serve as the main venue for teaching and events at the school.






WHY WAIT for the grand opening of the new Farrell Learning and Teaching Center at Washington University School of Medicine when you can see it now?

At least, all there is to see.

Prospective students, donors, and anyone else with curiosity and a web connection may monitor the project, rain or shine. A website will show daily construction progress on the new facility from excavation to I-beams to the last touch of paint.

Perched inside a fourth-floor window in the McMillan Hospital building, a plum-sized camera captures a digital, pigeon’s-eye view every half hour, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, of the school’s future academic center.

The windowsill webcam looks out from the administrative offices of the Department of Neurology.

A script running on a nearby laptop computer directs the camera. Images are automatically fed to a web server in the Bernard Becker Medical Library and archived as sequential files. Upon completion of the center, the files will be stitched together to make a stop-action movie of the entire process.

The Instructional Technologies and Library Systems group created the concept. “New York has their peepholes along construction walls,” says Betsy Kelly, associate director. “This is the virtual peephole for the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center site.”

The peephole’s control script and connections were the work of multimedia developer Billy Kaufmann. “A lot of people are enjoying it,” says Kaufmann. “I know some who look at it fairly regularly.”

See the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center going up at: