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UF begins construction on state-of-the-art Student Health Care Center building

Rendering by Walker Architects and Cannon Design

Courtesy of UF Health

BY CECILIA LUNA

Renewing its longstanding commitment to student wellness, the University of Florida is building a new home for its Student Health Care Center, or SHCC. The state-of-the-art, 46,000-square-foot facility will focus on comprehensive health care needs, steps away from where students live and learn.

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Now under construction, the $26 million building is located on Stadium Road, west of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and south of the future site of the Florida Gators football training center. Expected to open in late 2022, it will house all the functions the current center on Fletcher Drive provides.

“This new state-of-the-art facility will further advance the Student Health Care Center’s mission to help every student achieve optimal health and excel academically, while creating a much-needed space to serve our growing student population,” said Charlie Lane, senior vice president and chief operating officer at UF.

The new facility will represent the university’s first structure built using the WELL Building Standard, a roadmap for creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being. Backed by scientific research, WELL promotes improved health by setting performance standards for design schemes, operational practices, and policies.

“The SHCC building has been designed to create an environment that supports a culture of wellness to positively affect those who work in or visit the facility, as well as the entire campus,” said Ronald Berry, M.D., director of the Student Health Care Center.

In addition to designing a building that will serve the health and wellness needs of the campus community, planners have provided room to expand the space for future growth and enhancement of UF programs and services.

The facility will house a new infectious disease unit designed to safely treat patients with airborne infections, making the building one of the first in the country to incorporate such a unit.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has determined best practices for safety measures within our facility, and we can incorporate those measures into the design of the new building, allowing us to be well-equipped for any future infectious disease outbreak,” Berry said.

Other units and departments housed in the building will include primary care, sports medicine, and acute care, the women’s clinic, nutrition, the ancillary services of pharmacy, X-ray and lab, and continued physical therapy services from the UF Health Rehab Center. SHCC Psychiatry will move to the new building from the Counseling and Wellness Center.

“The University of Florida has been committed to the health and well-being of its students since the original infirmary was established more than 100 years ago,” said Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “The new SHCC facility will be one of the most uniquely designed student health centers in the country and will offer an ideal environment for our providers to serve the unique health care needs of our student population.”

The facility will feature common spaces with views of the wellness terrace and a wellness “heart” courtyard, encouraging informal gathering, interaction, and idea sharing among users.

To further promote interaction and exchange, the new building will include a multipurpose space designed to hold events and special programs for students, faculty, and staff. The room will include a demo kitchen for nutrition classes and presentations.

“We are excited that the new SHCC building will be the first WELL building on campus,” Berry said. “Due to the WELL concept requirements, which promote integration and an interconnected community, we will have more opportunities to interact purposefully and more frequently with our greater UF community to support students’ health.”

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