Health Center Set to Expand; Patient Parking Unavailable Starting Spring 2017
The Pat Walker Health Center opened its doors in November 2004, moving from a smaller facility to a facility built to address a student population of just over 17,000. With the increase in student enrollment to over 27,000, the responsibilities for public health surveillance, medical care, mental health care and wellness care have increased remarkably.
Realizing the limitations of the size of the health center in 2010, an expansion of 20,000 square feet and renovations to the current facility was approved in 2015 to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.
The health center plans to break ground on the new expansion on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.
“The University of Arkansas is fortunate to already have such a diverse and comprehensive health and wellness center established on campus,” said Mary Alice Serafini, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs and executive director of the health center. “But as the demands for more service have increased, the Pat Walker Health Center must continue to grow to meet the needs of the increasing number of students arriving on campus each year.”
With more than 50 percent of the student population using health center services and programs, the expanded facility will further extend the reach of the health center by offering more comprehensive and efficient access to services and programs designed to help students stay healthy and maximize their academic potential.
Key features of the expansion and renovation will include:
- Three new academic classrooms that can be combined into a large, 200-seat classroom.
- Efficient access to all medical services – the Women’s Clinic will move to the first floor, while the Primary Care Clinic and Allergy, Immunization and Travel Clinic will be renovated to increase efficiencies.
- A 100 percent increase in dedicated space for Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).
- Larger dedicated space for Wellness and Health Promotion and Administrative Services.
“Because providing quality health care to the campus community is our top priority, we have made sure there would be minimal impact to operations during construction and renovations,” said Serafini.
Patient parking unavailable starting Spring semester 2017
Effective January 3, 2017, the Pat Walker Health Center will no longer have patient parking available.
Metered parking is available in the Garland Garage or along Maple Avenue, however patients and clients are encouraged to avoid paying meter fees by parking in their designated U of A permit lots. The health center bus stop will continue to be available throughout the project.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” said Serafini. “While we know there would be some minimal disruption to services, the end result will greatly benefit the campus community. We look forward to the campus benefiting from the expansion and renovations.”
Pedestrians encouraged to stay on pathways
To accommodate construction, Lot 29 will be adjusted to allow semi-trucks and construction equipment to pass through. Pedestrians walking near the construction site are encouraged to stay on the west-end sidewalk next to the Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences building, and avoid crossing through the lot.
“We often see many students walking in the roadway of Lot 29,” said Zac Brown, assistant director of communications for the health center. “We want everyone to be safe, so we are encouraging pedestrians to use the sidewalk and avoid any potential dangers of walking in the roadway.”
The entire project is estimated to be completed by Fall 2018.