Student Success Center nears completion
By Molly Rossberg
|University Health Center moves, spring break, to the new
Student Success Center and opens March 17 at Mason St
and Martin Luther King Jr. Way
The new Student Success Center is about to get its first tenant. The University Health Center (UHC) will move to the new building over Spring Break and be open to students upon their return to campus.
Following years of transitions and moves to different spaces across campus, the UHC will be moving into a space that was specifically designed to meet its needs. The new space will enhance the UHC staff's ability to meet students' health and wellness needs through delivery of existing services such as appointment and walk-in medical care, health education and outreach, LGBT & ally education, substance abuse prevention, nutrition counseling, international travel consultation, allergy and women's health clinics, lab services, and sexual assault education, advocacy, peer education, and support. Additionally, the new Health Center facility includes space for future physical therapy, optometry, radiology, and pharmacy services.
Dr. Stephen Rogers, UHC Medical Director, is excited for UHC's impending move to the new Student Success Center. "The new health center was designed very well. It is set up with specific areas to serve the different needs of students. There is also space to add new services. We look forward to adding an x-ray machine soon and additional services in the future."
A very important point that Rodgers stressed is the fact that students will only be allowed to enter the new Health Center from the walk-in clinic entrance, which is on the corner of Mason Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way (formerly Cantrell Avenue), for the rest of the Spring 2014 semester, due to ongoing construction in other areas of the Student Success Center.
|Student Success Center opens Fall 2014|
The entire Student Success Center will open during Summer 2014, with a grand opening ceremony at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester. The five-floor building will contain all services that have been designated as necessary to JMU students' ability to succeed at JMU. Nineteen different departments/units including the University Health Center, Counseling and Student Development Center, Judicial Affairs, Community Service Learning, Career and Academic Planning, the IT department, the Office of Financial Office, and the Registrars office will all be located in the new Student Success Center.
JMU Associate Vice President of Student Success Randy Mitchell, Ed.D., described the new space as a "...collaborative environment designed to support student learning, student health, and student services...With so many different departments and areas in the new Success Center, providing students with advice and assistance for a variety of financial, curricular, technical and employment concerns has become more effective."
The Student Success Center joins many new and newly renovated buildings on campus as LEED certified, including East Campus Dining Hall, the Bioscience Building, Wayland Hall, and the University Park Athletic Fields. The LEED certification (short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a point system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The purpose of the certification, which results in gold - bronze classifications, is to encourage businesses and institutions to become more environmentally friendly. This is achieved by building or renovating buildings to meet nine eco-conscious criteria, including sustainability, water efficiency, and energy use.
Mitchell stresses that JMU's effort to adhere to the LEED standards is part of an effort to reduce the campus' carbon footprint. "Our participation in LEED Certification shows our commitment, through design and construction practices, to the effectiveness of on-campus buildings while reducing their negative impacts on the environment, all while improving occupant health and well-being," he said.
Beau Dooley, UHC Associate Director of Student Wellness and Outreach, spoke specifically about the bright future the LGBT & Ally Education Program will have in its new space. "The new Program space will be much more visible and accessible to the campus community than in its current and previous locations. Overall, the new space will have similar features to its current space, such as an extensive resource library of books, films and publications, a lounge-type area for students to gather and hang out, and space for Program volunteers to work. However... as with the rest of the Health Center, the new space will be brand new - including new furniture and fixtures."
The Student Success Center will be open seven days a week to, "accommodate student's needs and learning goals," according to Building Manager Ritter Clevenger. Clevenger said that the public spaces and meeting rooms located in the space will help achieve this goal.
Dining services will also be part of the Student Success Center. Angela Ritchie, the marketing manager for Dining Services, said that the new space will offer a variety of sit down and take-out options for students. The inclusion of dining options in the Student Success Center will work to alleviate the congestion felt in PC Dukes, Mongolian Grill, and D-Hall during peak lunch and dinner hours. And yes, the rumors are true - Harrisonburg's first and only Dunkin Donuts will be located on the first floor.