UB is temporarily moving its Student Health Services center to a single-story building near North Campus, the university announced in a UBNow story last week.
Student Health Services is currently working out of South Campus’ Michael Hall and the Farber Hall Annex, but officials say these locations no longer have sufficient space to handle the roughly 24,000 patients who visit the location annually.
So, the university plans to lease an under-construction building owned by Benderson Developments LLC on Maple Road for Student Health Services starting this spring.
“Students have wanted something like this for a number of years and the pandemic really drove home that need,” Brian Hamluk, UB’s new vice president for student life, said. “Students want a better patient experience and that’s what we’re going to give them.”
Hamluk cited the building’s proximity to North Campus — located on 4350 Maple Road, the new venue is a 1.5-mile drive from the Student Union — and its “modern facility” as reasons for the switch.
“Maple Road is in close proximity to the North Campus, it will be a more modern facility and it will give us more space to provide a higher quality of health care while we work toward building a state-of-the-art wellness and recreation center on campus,” Hamluk said.
The new facility has 13,000-sq. ft. of space, and has a target opening of mid-spring. UB will lease the building for Student Health Services for an anticipated five years, at which time the university hopes to conclude construction of a four-story wellness and recreation center on the site of the North Campus bookstore.
UB hopes to begin design work for the wellness and recreation center by January, after its initial plans were stalled by the pandemic. Renderings from CannonDesign last year revealed a site that would house Health Services, Counseling Services and Health Promotion, as well as a pool, basketball courts, multiple fitness centers and an elevated running track.
UB is eyeing a 2026 completion date for that project, according to the UBNow article.
The Maple Road building will feature an in-house pharmacy, while Counseling Services, Health Promotion and chiropractic services will remain in their respective buildings on North and South Campus.
UB will provide transportation to the new Health and Wellness center from North and South Campus.
“The space on Maple Road is larger and more sufficient for patient flow,” Susan Snyder, director of health services, said. “It will allow us to seperate the sick visits from well visits, a protective measure now that we are dealing with COVID-19, and that will also serve the community well in the years ahead.”
Hamluk has made health and recreation a priority since coming to UB from the University of Pittsburgh in May. Hamluk says he wants to take a “more holistic approach” to student health, echoing calls from students on campus who urge campus leaders to take an upstream approach to student health problems.
“These next few years are the beginning of a dramatic change in how we meet the health and wellness needs of our students,” Hamluk said.
Justin Weiss is the managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald. He can be found on Twitter @Jwmlb1.