UAB to begin work on new residence hall, wellness center

A new residence hall and a consolidated student health center are planned for UAB’s campus.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) campus will see two major construction projects in the next few years to accommodate growing enrollment and the desire to better serve students.

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A rendering of the new residence hall

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved plans to build a new student residence hall and renovate existing space for a consolidated student health and wellness center at its meeting April 12, 2013. The health and wellness center and residence hall are expected to open in the Fall 2014 and Fall 2015 semesters, respectively.

“These projects exemplify UAB’s commitment to our students, and I am pleased that the Board of Trustees appreciates the incredible benefit of each,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Collectively, they will enhance wellness programs, health care and the overall student experience at UAB.”

The new residence hall will help meet increased demand for on-campus housing, which has been filled to capacity for the last four years. The proposed plans will allow more than 700 students to join to the 2,180 students housed in UAB’s five other residence halls.

“These projects exemplify UAB’s commitment to our students, and I am pleased that the Board of Trustees appreciates the incredible benefit of each,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Collectively, they will enhance wellness programs, health care and the overall student experience at UAB.”

The 217,000 square foot residence hall will be built near the Campus Green on property owned by UAB – the north half of the block bordered by 9th and 10th avenues south and 16th and 17th streets. The L-shaped building will consist of an eight-story tower and a four-story wing that will contain common space and multi-use office space in addition to housing.

“Undergraduate enrollment has continued to grow in the last four years,” said Harlan Sands, vice provost for administration and quality improvement. “Having students live together on campus creates communities across undergraduate academic disciplines and plays a role in UAB’s collegial and creative environment.”

The new Student Health and Wellness Center will bring the Counseling and Wellness Center and Student Health Services Center into a centrally located complex in the Learning Resource Center (LRC), 1714 9th Ave. South. The center will integrate student primary care, counseling and wellness, as well as health promotion. About 26,000 square feet on the 3rd floor of the LRC will be renovated to house the new center, with a new entrance on the south side of the building.

The LRC currently houses programs in the schools of Nursing and Health Professions.

The construction will update and improve UAB’s health offerings and wellness programs for students, and it will include office spaces, counseling rooms, laboratory spaces, triage and medical clearance, associated support spaces, exam rooms, waiting and administration spaces, a nursing station and an x-ray room.

“As an institution with great focus on academic and medical excellence, UAB realizes the importance of emphasizing good health in our holistic approach to the education and care of our students,” said Sands. “This facility will allow us to better serve our student population by integrating student health services in a state-of-the-art facility that will meet the needs of our growing student population.”

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