$10 Million expansion for new Health Center

Cierra Baxter

After building an awe-inspiring new stadium, two beautiful dining facilities, and a bold, sassy new IT store, what is next in Georgia Southern University’s bag of tricks? With a grant of $10 million, the Health Services expansion is their next new exciting project and will be coming to the University in January 2016.

What’s New

The Health Services building is not only being revamped but is also being relocated. The new building will be moved from Forest Drive to the corner of Chandler Road and Plant Drive, directly across from the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center. The new location allows the building to be within walking distance from all the residence halls in addition to being easily accessible from the parking lot and the shuttle routes. The new building will be about 38,000 square feet and will consist of two floors, which is double the size of the current 16,000 square foot Forest Drive location.

A Need to Grow

The current Health Services building was built in 1976 for a prospective population of about 8,000 students. With a population that boasts a little more than 20,000 students presently, Georgia Southern University exceeded those initial numbers years ago and the growth has put a burden on Health Services. “Right now we’re not able to see as many patients that want to be seen,” said Eddie Mills, vice president of Auxiliary Services. “With the expansion, we hope we can just go back to being a regular walk in type clinic so that whoever walks in can get seen that same day without having to stick to the appointment so much.”

More on-campus care

Not only does the expansion project allow more students to be seen on a given day, it also creates the opportunity to offer a variety of services. For example, physical therapy will now be offered through Health Services. With the current size and set-up of Health Services, if a person is hurt and in need of physical therapy, they are sent somewhere else to receive care.

Specialized care

Athletes like Terrance Williams, a sophomore sports management major, also believes the new health building will be a tremendous help. “The RAC is always usually busy and you have to wait about 30 minutes to get assisted, and I feel like the new building will help out a lot of athletes with assistance,” Williams said.

Along with the addition of physical therapy, the building will also have a second floor with an independent area for women’s health. Lastly, eye care and counseling will also be moved to the new Health Services building. This allows all medical services to be available to students from one easily accessible location. The services that will be offered and the type of insurance that will be accepted will also be expanded upon.

“I’m delighted that GSU is using a good bit of its funds to enhance the Health Services center. I especially appreciate the upgrade, especially for the women. I feel like hopefully an upgrade in the health center will increase the amount of visitors,” Mahogany Chambers, senior psychology major, said.

“It’ll take probably a year for that building to get completed. We’re looking forward to it. We’ve been in a cramped facility for a long time,” Mills said.