Smith College to Construct Comprehensive
Student Health Center
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – This fall, Smith College will begin construction on a new student health and wellness center that will bring together under one roof all of the college’s programs dedicated to health and well-being including medical services, counseling services and the wellness education program.
The new building will be located on Belmont Avenue in close proximity to the Scott Gymnasium and Olin Fitness Center in order to emphasize the connections between health, fitness, and education.
“Promoting healthy lifestyles goes far beyond providing flu shots, “ said Maureen Mahoney, dean of the college and vice president for campus life. “This building represents an emphasis on health rather than illness.“
The new site will replace the current facility, the Elizabeth Mason Infirmary on Paradise Road, which was built nearly a century ago. Consultants deemed that facility outdated according to current standards of college health services.
Construction of the new health services building is expected to begin in early November and be completed by the start of the 2014 academic year.
“When college health centers are at their best, they are a place for students seeking education, engagement and support across a broad spectrum of needs,” said Julianne Ohotnicky, dean of students.
The new two-story structure, anticipated to be about 12,000 square feet, is now being designed by Spagnolo Gisness & Associates of Boston. Gilbane, Inc., has been named contractor for the project.
The Belmont Avenue parking lot will be reconfigured to accommodate the new building. Parts of the parking lot will be blocked off in mid-August so that soil samples can be taken to inform the building construction.
The Mason Infirmary building is slated to be taken down as part of a plan to create new student housing in that area.