By Ann-Cecilie Moen
Both staff and clients of the McDonald Health Center can look forward to a more modern and spacious facility as the construction of the new center nears its end.
John Collan, project coordinator for the new health center at BYU, said the construction is scheduled to end in April, and the equipment from the McDonald Health Center will be moved into the new facility as soon as possible.
“We are shooting for an opening in May,” Collan said.
The center is being built to serve students and their families, and will feature the latest technology for ambulatory care centers in a comfortable and hospitable atmosphere, according to a BYU news release.
The new health center, including basement, main and upper levels, has a total area of 36,380 square feet, compared to the current health center which has a total area of 19,000 square feet.
The present housing of the health center was built in 1955.
“Since that time, it has become outdated,” said J. Michael Stratton, director of campus construction projects, in a news release. “It cannot accommodate the electrical and mechanical demands of modern equipment.”
The old health center will no longer be used as a health facility, but Val H. Christensen, administrative director of the BYU Health Center, said he does not know what will happen to it.
Christensen said the efficiency of the 60 full-time staff-members will be improved in the new facility.
“Students will benefit with shorter waiting times, comfortable waiting areas, completely discrete and roomy examination areas, and the best of modern technology,” Christensen said.
James Clark, medical director of the McDonald Health Center, thinks the new building will enhance the morale of the staff and give an aspect of more professionalism. He also said the efficiency would increase with the new facilities.
“A building designed to be a health center will enhance its efficiency,” Clark said.
The two-story building has a brick exterior with green tinted windows. The main floor will include all patient services, including pharmacy, physical therapy, the exam room/clinic area and laboratory areas. The second floor will house medical records, administrative offices, insurance and accounting offices, as well as staff meeting areas and break areas. The basement is mostly mechanical and storage space.
In a news release, Christensen said that because of BYU’s large on-campus population, the administration has made a major commitment to the health care needs of the students.
“BYU’s health center will be unique among college campuses both because of the beauty and efficiency of the building, and the wide range of services that are provided,” Christensen said.
The new facility, 1750 N. Wymount Terrace Dr., is just east of the campus laundry facilities.