While most students and faculty were away from campus this summer, the College broke ground for a Health and Counseling Center. The 13,186-square-foot, two-story facility is expected to be completed by July 2018.
Reverend Dr. Beth Johnson P’93 and Joel W. Johnson ’65, P’93 provided the lead gift to construct a private and welcoming facility focused on health and wellness where best-in-class services will continue to be offered.
Recognizing the importance of these necessary and essential student services, the donors and the College agreed that its central location on College Hill Road, between the Sadove Student Center and the Anderson Connell Alumni Center is important. Colleges nationwide are experiencing significant increases in student requests for health, wellness and counseling services.
Student Counseling Spaces:
- seven counselor offices
- two group rooms
- a bio-feedback room
- a sun-porch
Health Services Spaces:
- student EMTs
- six exam rooms
- a procedure room
- phlebotomy area
- five offices for the health services staff.
A shared lounge, conference room, reception area and office coordinator are included in the building with waiting areas on each floor.
The facility will replace the Rudd Health Center, which housed both Health Services and Student Counseling until the fall of 2016. The counseling office outgrew its space, requiring a move to temporary facilities on College Hill Road until the new building is completed.
“We are very excited about the new space and look forward to being reunited with the counseling center,” said Barbara Fluty, director of the Health Center. “Having both services housed in the same facility should truly make it easier for students to access services.”
“We saw almost 480 students last year, and the number of completed sessions increased 24% from the year prior,” said Director of Counseling Services David Walden.
“The new building will be a fantastic resource as we welcome students to our services. We remain indebted to Beth and Joel Johnson for their role in providing a space that will serve Hamilton students for many years. This facility will be an excellent launching pad for our expanded services and for continuing the dialogue about how we define wellness for the Hamilton community.”
In addition to the Counseling Center’s regular programs, including individual and group therapy, dietitian services, outreach and consultation, psychiatric services and experiential programming in partnership with the Outdoor Leadership Center, the staff has added a number of expanded services. Among the new offerings are:
- increased group therapy offerings;
- a peer counseling program that provides individual meetings, wellness workshops and peer-led support groups;
- individualized and self-service biofeedback coordinated by a new staff counselor;
- a creative arts therapy space; and
- 24/7/365 access to counselors via telephone that is accessible to students on and off campus and during breaks.
Walden and his staff have also coordinated with local practitioners to provide yoga, mindfulness and nutrition-focused wellness workshops.
Health Center services
Health Center services include diagnostic testing, performance of minor procedures and medical crisis management, lab draws, substance abuse counseling, eating disorder and concussion management, EMT services, immunizations, insurance referrals and travel counseling.
“In addition to our many regular services, we are proud to offer travel counseling and immunizations for our students who travel or study abroad," Fluty said. “We also have a number of students who utilize our services for sexual health, birth control planning and vision screening for driver's license renewal. We regularly see students with a broad variety of concerns including both acute and chronic care visits.”
Size and Location
The new facility will add only about 1,000 square feet to the total campus square footage once the Rudd Health Center is demolished in the summer of 2018. The Farm House apartments were taken down in July 2017 to make way for construction of the new structure on that site.
The building was sited near parking to the east to provide easy access for emergency vehicles and to expand the open space to the west of the building. The new landscape will visually and functionally connect to Martin’s Way and the Sadove Student Center, while also providing a private and reflective space for the campus community. In advance of the design process, the students and employees were asked for input about how the space might be enlivened and used.
As with other construction efforts at Hamilton, developing a sustainable building was integral to the planning effort. The structure will be heated and cooled with a geothermal system comprised of eight wells at 499 feet, becoming the College’s fifth system on campus and the fourth building to be fully heated and cooled using a geothermal closed loop system.
Taylor Science has a demonstration system that heats and cools the building's Wellin Atrium.
Other design features of the new center include energy-saving lighting (all LED fixtures); stormwater reduction features in and under the landscape; use of lumber from the hickory grove that stood on the site; and an energy-efficient building envelope.