Student Health and Counseling Services plans for new facilities

Paul Schwader

Paul Schwader

A new student wellness center, which will include student-exclusive workout equipment and an expanded student health center, is set to open its doors sometime in 2008.

According to former Students’ Association President Ryan Brunner, the facility will cost $12.1 million, and measure about 77,000 square feet.

Plans include a rock-climbing wall, expanded equipment and facilities, a cardiovascular workout area and new facilities for Student Health and Counseling Services. The center will be open for students, as any athletics teams will be able to use the old facilities in the HPER center. It will also be managed and run by students, similar to the management of The Union.

Student Health, currently located in West Hall, will have expanded room and equipment. Brenda Andersen, associate director for Student Health and Counseling Services, said West Hall was “not well-suited for privacy.”

Providers are looking forward to moving into the new facility, which will have a better layout for the clinic.

She expressed her appreciation to the Students’ Association for seeing the need for a new facility for the free clinic.

Current plans for the facility place it attached to the west side of the HPER Center. The Students’ Association is currently working on getting bids from architects to design the facility, and final placement will depend on those plans.

The architect will hold a workshop to design a facility in an optional spot that will include all plans included in the wellness center plan.

Students’ Association President Alex Halbach is pleased with the plans.

“The facility has been needed for quite some time,” he said.

Halbach said there are hopes to break ground on the facility sometime next February or March, but setbacks might push that date farther back.

He also said that Student Health services will be in more central location to the campus and at a more student-friendly facility than West Hall.

Students using the equipment in the HPER center have long had to work around schedules set by athletic teams.

Concepts for a wellness center have been in development since the early 1990s, and a few proposals have gone before the Legislature.

This current plan was given final approval last month by the Board of Regents.