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The University of Oregon Health Center is undergoing construction. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

The north entrance of the University Health Center located on East 13th Avenue will be closed winter and spring terms during the next phase of the facility’s renovation; however, students can still access services during construction.

Dr. Roger Thompson, who oversees the renovation, said the main entrance is estimated to reopen closer to the end of construction during summer term or in the fall. Until then, students can enter the health center through the south entrance that faces the Walton dorms.

The project, which Thompson said is running smoothly, includes a 22,000-square-foot expansion and a renovation of the existing structure.

Debra Beck, the newly appointed executive director of the health center, said the design of the building is aimed to be more student friendly than it was before.

“Once students come into the facility, how you go into the areas of care will feel very different,” Beck said. “It will feel much more fluid.”

The health center will improve the specialized nurse clinic through creating a more functional space, Beck said. “Not only are we enhancing our services but we’re also providing a better workflow not only for the students who need out services but also for the people who work here,” she said.

The renovation will also include an acute care center that will be available to students who need to access the health center quickly and didn’t have time to schedule an appointment.  

Last February, the board of trustees approved a budget of $18 to $19 million for the renovation, and the project’s funding comes through an increase in student fees and ASUO funds.

The project was put into action by 2015-16 ASUO President Quinn Haga. Thompson said that Haga wanted to have more mental and physical health services available to students and made the health center renovation a priority.  

The project was initially proposed to the board of trustees in April 2016 and the final drafts and budget were approved last February.

“I’m appreciative for the students and their patience. It takes patience to see the project go from point A to point B,” Thompson said.

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