Dec. 13, 2021 — With the health and well-being of students a top priority for the University of Florida, the new UF Student Health Care Center is a much-anticipated project currently underway.
Earlier this month, more than 150 students, faculty and staff from across campus left their mark on UF’s history by signing a structural beam that will be used in the 46,000-square-foot facility. It’s expected to open in late 2022 on Stadium Road, west of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and south of the future site of the Florida Gators football training center.
The current student health care center facility is located along Fletcher Drive in the historical Infirmary building in the campus center. Ronald Berry, M.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine Department of Community Health and Family Medicine and director of the UF Student Health Care Center, said the university had been in conversations to move the student health center to a newer, larger building for years.
“I became interim director in 2019, and that was around the time that the plans started to come together,” he said. “The designers for the new building included elements that focus on wellness for our students, such as a wall of windows on the second and third floors that face toward the center of campus.”
The new UF Student Health Care Center will also be the first WELL-certified building on campus, which promotes integration and an interconnected community through its design.
Berry also said that overlap between the construction timeline and the COVID-19 pandemic prompted collaborators to incorporate an infectious care unit into the design. The unit will have a separate entrance, waiting area and exam rooms for patients with infectious diseases like the flu to help prevent further spread of disease. It will also have a separate air-filtration system that does not cycle through the rest of the building.
“The design of this infectious care unit is something I don’t think any other student health care building has available,” Berry said. “It makes this facility truly stand out in what will already be a state-of-the-art health care space.”