New Health Services Building Nears Completion


Photo by George Yandle

Student Health (SHS) and the Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS) will have the grand opening of their new building together on April 20. The new building, with SHS on the first floor and CAPS on the second, is located across from Courtyard Apartments and next to the Health Science building.

This project broke ground in October, 2015. It was expected to open this fall, but Hurricane Matthew caused a significant weather-delay.

In the Spring, the new 11,000 square foot space will accommodate students with a centralized health center offering better privacy.

SHS will have more exam rooms and there will be kiosks provided for students to electronically submit check-in information or waive insurance.

“Overall, there will be a better flow for the students and they will be able to see us as more of a health-care facility,” Director of Student Health Services Cora Bullard said. “The self-check-in will provide confidentiality for the students.”

SHS will use the new building to offer more programs, such as the Family Planning program via the Health Department.

CAPS’ programs are also increasing with the increasing space of the new building. They will be able to offer more group sessions, which can be a more effective method of counseling, according to Associate Director of CAPS George Gressman.

“I’m really excited about finally getting an office with a window,” Gressman joked. “But what is most exciting about the new building is that we’re keeping up with the growth of the University.”

In 1988, when the UC opened, there were 2 offices provided for CAPS. Since student population has increased with the expansion of the University, and the need for a bigger CAPS staff grew, office spaces were combined and closets were refurbished to house counselors. In April 2017, CAPS will have the entire second floor to house its staff, as well as the 15 percent of our student population who use CAPS at least once a year.

Gressman expressed his enthusiasm for joining with SHS in the new building. Occasionally CAPS refer students to SHS, or vice versa, depending on the individual student’s needs.

“Being located in the same building will make it easier for students to find the right services for their needs,” Gressman said.

CAPS is anticipating the move, but worry that some students may not think their services are as easily assessable since they will not be located in the UC. SHS worries students in the residents’ halls, closer to their current location (North, Oak, Pine and Belk), will think the new location is too far.

In 1959, when SHS first began at UNCP, nurses operated out of 1 room in a residence hall. Their current building opened in May, 1967, but because of renovating difficulties – most of the walls are weight-bearing, a new building was necessary. The new building will provide both SHS and CAPS with a state of the art facility.

Each month, 750-1,000 students visit Student Health Services, according to Bullard.

Both directors agree that the newness of the building, its spacious layout and the new privacy options will suit students’ needs.

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