Health Services and Counseling Under Massive Renovation
By, Noa Maltzman Faculty and Administration Editor
As of June 8th, Health Services and the Counseling Center have not been in their normal location on the first floor of Jonsson Tower. Instead, they have been located in the medical grade trailers near Wieking and Pennfield in West Lot A, because both of their first floor locations in Jonson Tower are under renovation.
The old Health Services and Counseling Center offices were not originally created for clinical office spaces. They “were originally designed as rooms in residence halls,” says Julia Routbort, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Health and Wellness. These rooms were later converted into Health Services and Counseling Center offices, but this caused many challenges. For example, the spaces were not fully accessible for those with motor impairments and there was not enough office space or waiting room space. According to Routbort, “it had been evident for a long time that the spaces needed to be remodeled.”
Skidmore has allocated a $915,000 budget over a two-year span to cover the costs of the project. This “includes the temporary space set up and costs, gut renovation of the space in Tower, new heating/cooling systems, and new furniture and equipment,” says Routbort.
Some of the big changes to the remodeled space will include entirely remolded waiting rooms, new furniture and storage areas, as well as improved clinical spaces. The Counseling Center will also now have a room suitable for group therapy.
Andrew Demaree, Director of the Counseling Center thinks “the biggest benefit [of the new space] will be having additional office space, which will allow us to have room for additional staffing as needed, to expand our practicum training program, and to have a dedicated space for group therapy.” The Director of Health Services, Patricia Bosen, believes that “the biggest benefits of the new space will be a health services office that is new and modern and designed to be used as a medical facility.”
A new space does not emanate without the challenges of the remodeling phase. A major issue impacting the remodeling is that “the project has been delayed somewhat largely due to unforeseen utility pathways, certain structure issues and related infrastructure conditions,” says Dan Rodecker, the Project Manager for the renovations. Other challenges have been brought on due to the temporary space that both the Counseling Center and Health Services are located in. One of these major challenges is that the temporary space is much smaller, resulting in less storage space and smaller waiting and exam rooms.
Rodecker says, “we are striving for completion [of the renovations] early spring semester. “ Until then Rodecker also noted that “there will be inconveniences to those residing in Jonsson Tower, and we apologize for the noise and service interruptions that will occur with this significant construction project.”