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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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UB delays Student Health Services center opening

The temporary single-story site had been slated to open this spring

<p>The building located at 4350 Maple Road will serve as a Student Health Services center beginning in the fall, according to the administration.&nbsp;</p>

The building located at 4350 Maple Road will serve as a Student Health Services center beginning in the fall, according to the administration. 

The new Student Health Services center on Maple Road is no longer expected to open to students this semester, Vice President for Student Life Brian Hamluk told The Spectrum last week.

UB is now targeting a summer opening for its new location after announcing plans to relocate its services to a temporary single-story building on Maple Road last semester.

Hamluk says the project currently remains in the early stages of construction.

“Interior construction drawings have been submitted to the Town of Amherst and are presently being reviewed for permit,” Hamluk said in an email to The Spectrum. “Barring any unforeseen delays, students can expect to be able to use the new facility on Maple Road for the fall 2022 semester.”

The university planned to lease the temporary site this spring for Student Health Services in anticipation of constructing a long-term, four-story wellness and recreation center on the site of the North Campus bookstore by 2026.

The expected opening date of the Maple Road facility, however, has been pushed back in light of difficulties with the construction process, Hamluk says.

“The construction permit process, as well as the bid process to secure vendors to fit out the interior, took time during the fall and winter,” Hamluk said. “As with any project this size, current conditions also cause supply chain issues on a number of items, but we continue to work on alternate options to keep us on track.”

In the meantime, Student Health Services continues to operate out of South Campus’ Michael Hall and the Farber Hall Annex, though university officials previously cited concerns that the existing locations have insufficient space to handle the approximately 24,000 patients who make annual visits.

The new temporary site is expected to address this issue, as it sports 13,000-square-feet of space to handle a higher volume of patient visits. 

“The space on Maple Road is larger and more sufficient for patient flow,” Susan Snyder, director of Health Services, said in October. “It will allow us to separate 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.”

Although Counseling Services, Health Promotion and chiropractic services are set to remain in their respective buildings on North and South Campus for the duration of the temporary move, the Maple Road building will feature an in-house pharmacy, in a bid to provide over-the-counter medications and other essential health products a now-defunct campus CVS once provided.

With the new Student Health Services center yet to open, however, students must travel to South Campus, where Michael Hall currently provides prescription refills, pharmacy services and over-the-counter medications. 

Hamluk says the Maple Road location remains an important part of his vision, one that places student health and recreation at the forefront.

“As I have stated before, the health and wellness of our students and campus community continues to be one of my top priorities,” Hamluk said. “This new modern facility is an important next step in providing a higher quality of care to the students we serve.”

Kyle Nguyen is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at kyle.nguyen@ubspectrum.com


KYLE NGUYEN
IMG_7041.jpg

Kyle Nguyen is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum.

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