Health Center Opens New Addition; Women's Clinic, Wellness Celebrate New Space

The completed addition now paves the way for the final phase of the project — renovating the existing facility for mental health.
Photo by Zac Garrett Brown

The completed addition now paves the way for the final phase of the project — renovating the existing facility for mental health.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – May 4 was a momentous day for Pat Walker Health Center and the University of Arkansas campus. After many months of planning and construction, the health center celebrated the opening of its new, state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot addition.

This new space, which is now accessible to the campus community, enhances an already diverse and comprehensive health and wellness center, and increases the number of students the health center can impact. The added space also gives the health center the ability to offer students more broad and comprehensive services and programs designed to help them stay healthy and achieve academic and personal success.

"With the opening of the addition to the wonderful present facility, medical services are all on one floor now, creating efficiencies that impact patients in various ways," said Mary Alice Serafini, executive director and associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs. "Student success has always been a priority for the health center, and with our beautiful new classrooms we can deliver even more classes that address student well-being."

New Addition Features Increased Efficiencies and Welcoming Environment

When Pat Walker Health Center first opened its doors in 2004, leadership knew an expansion would one day be needed to accommodate the growing student population. In 2015, the University of Arkansas approved the $15 million expansion and renovation project.

Now (almost) completed, the health center features:

  • Three new, high-tech academic classrooms that open up into a large multi-purpose space.
  • Efficient access to all medical services — the Women's Clinic is now located on the first floor of the new addition, while the health center's other medical clinics completed their renovations last Fall.
  • Larger dedicated space for Wellness & Health Promotion and Administrative Services.
  • Several new student study areas.
  • A grand, inviting entrance. The health center grand entrance will be opened later this summer.

Existing Facility Renovations Underway

The completed addition now paves the way for the final phase of the project — renovating the existing facility for mental health.

Expected to be complete by September of this year, the renovated second floor will nearly double the amount of space for Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).

"All mental health services will continue to be available to students, faculty and staff throughout the summer, however different parts of the present facility will be inaccessible due to improvements in the beautiful Elizabeth Phillips Atrium and the second floor," said Serafini. "We appreciate the adjustments our campus community have made during the building and renovation process, and we look forward to celebrating the grand opening after all renovations are finished."

The increase in space for mental health programs and services will include additional office space for mental health professionals, therapy group meeting spaces and a large multipurpose room for educational activities.

What's Next?

Although the new addition is accessible, renovations for CAPS, as well as exterior construction will continue throughout the summer. Dedicated patient parking will continue to be unavailable until construction is completed on Lot 29.

For more information about Pat Walker Health Center, go to health.uark.edu or call 479-575-4451.

About Pat Walker Health Center: Pat Walker Health Center supports students along their academic journey by providing efficient and convenient access to quality medical care, mental health care, and wellness and health promotion programs and services. The health center strives to enrich the academic and personal development of students by creating an inclusive environment that promotes positive behavior and lifestyle changes. Pat Walker Health Center is a department of the Division of Student Affairs.

About the Division of Student Affairs: The Division of Student Affairs supports students in pursuing knowledge, earning a degree, finding meaningful careers, exploring diversity, and connecting with the global community. We provide students housing, dining, health care resources, and create innovative programs that educate and inspire. We enhance the University of Arkansas experience and help students succeed, one student at a time.

Contacts

Zac Garrett Brown, assistant director of communications
Pat Walker Health Center
479-575-4649, zacharyb@uark.edu

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