Health services moves to new building

Mark Dipaola

Student Health Services was relocated to what used to be the Counseling Services building. The upgrade allows students and faculty to reap the benefits of a well furnished and spacious medical facility.

According to Kathryn Macaiono, the director of student health services, cramped conditions in the old health facility inside the Irma residence hall, coupled with the expanding population of students, indicated that it was time to relocate.

“The other facility has been inadequate for several years,” Macaiono said. “The actual physical space was extremely inadequate.”

Student health services will share the new location, which is straight across from the former health center on Dorm Road, with Counseling Services, which had already inhabited the building before it was completely renovated this summer. Security, which also inhabits the facility in Irma, will take over the newly vacated space.

According to Dr. Phillip A. Brewer, the renovations included the replacement of the floors and roof, and a new heating system. The building is now equipped with three examination rooms, a conference room, and a full sized waiting room.

“It’s been totally transformed,” Brewer said. “You can say it has exceeded our expectations.”

Brewer believes that these small luxuries will dramatically boost the level of efficiency and quality of care for students and faculty members.

“I think they’ll feel a lot more confident in the level of service they’ll receive, just because of the surroundings,” he said.

The building has been upgraded in the past, undergoing renovations after Facilities, which originally occupied it, was relocated to Pine Road.

Macaiono said the new facility is a huge improvement from the health center in Irma, which had only one examination room. The old center had no waiting room, only a wooden bench in the middle of a tight hallway. A shortage of sinks also posed difficulties, she said.

“We had one of the worst facilities, and as we speak we have the nicest one,” Macaiono said. “It’s going to take some getting used to, but it’s the Taj Mahal.”

She did, however, note proudly that Student Health Services has managed to become the first licensed infirmary in the state of Connecticut, despite working out of a low quality facility for so many years.

David Barger, the assistant chief of security, said that the available space inside Irma will be beneficial. In addition to the extra rooms the former health center provides, the move, Barger said, will allow Security to consolidate under one roof. Prior to the move, he said, security was spread out, with some units located inside the counseling center and others operating in Irma. The dispatch office will also be able to expand under the new conditions.

“It will allow us to come into the 21st century with a number of things,” Barger said. “I guess the bottom line is space. In the time that the campus expands, we also have to expand with it.”

Macaiono has urged students and faculty to come to Alumni Hall for flu shots on Oct. 24. The shots, she said, will be free of charge to all members of the university community.