Campus breaks ground on new health and counseling center

Project represents a beacon in the provision of student health and wellness services

February 23, 2022
Author: Imran Ghori
February 23, 2022

UC Riverside marked the start of a new era in campus health and wellness Friday, Feb. 18, celebrating the groundbreaking for a new Student Health and Counseling Center.

The 39,450-square-foot building will house Student Health Services, The Well, and Counseling and Psychological Services in one space, bringing together medical, mental health, and wellbeing services in one convenient location and modern facility.

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said universities are ultimately about people — including the faculty and staff who serve students — but the settings they work in can also make a difference. He praised the work done by health workers at the Veitch Building, which was built in the 1960s and no longer meets their current needs.

“We have a responsibility to help them help students with their wellbeing,” Wilcox said. “That’s what this building symbolizes.”

Campus leaders described the new Student Health and Counseling Center as a beacon for providing health, counseling, and wellness services with an integrated and holistic approach.

“This site, though it may not look like much now, is a stepping stone to a brighter and more transformative experience for our students,” said Brian Haynes, vice chancellor of Student Affairs. “Our students here at UCR deserve nothing less than the very best.”

The project design makes heavy use of natural light to create an open environment, planners said. The building will include exam rooms, an urgent care center, a pharmacy, a full-service laboratory, a radiology office, and an ambulance loading area. Counseling and Psychological Services, on the second floor, will have offices for individual appointments as well as larger spaces for group therapy.
The Well, the student health and educational wellness program, will have a conference room, offices, and gathering spaces for its workshops and classes.

Among those attending the groundbreaking were several employees from Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services who have been working in cramped conditions at the current building as the campus’ student population has grown over the years.

Dr. Kenneth Han, chief medical officer for the Office of Student Health Services, said they’ve learned to utilize “every nook and cranny” of the space. 

He described the new building, which will be twice the size, as a tribute to past and present doctors, nurses, counselors, and other health care workers committed to providing students with the best care they could at the current facility. 

“I’m in awe is all I can say,” Han said of the new building. “It’s going to be really state of the art, with the latest medical technology. It’s really going to make the student experience so much better.”