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[IMGCAP(1)]STATE COLLEGE, PA-Penn State’s new $26 million student health center has been completed. The 64,000-sf center, which was designed by Princeton, NJ-based architecture firm RMJM Hillier, will be officially dedicated on Sept. 18, in time to welcome new and returning students for the fall semester.

The new health center is almost three times larger than its predecessor, the 80-year-old Ritenour Building. The project received final approval by trustees in November 2006. The new center sits 300 yards from the Ritenour Building and is centrally located between student residence halls, sports facilities and the academic campus. Unlike many health-related buildings, the student health center is designed to draw people in and features an art gallery to showcase campus works and a lounge. The building will house all medical services as well as the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and the Health and Wellness Department, which offers peer counseling and programs on forming good habits and avoiding substance abuse.

[IMGCAP(2)]“Campus health services are now more than just going to the doctor when you’re sick,” says Colin Mosher, an associate principal with RMJM Hillier. “It’s now about wellness, education and being part of a shared campus experience.”

The building boasts 60 state-of-the-art exam rooms, an ambulance bay and radiology and laboratory functions, which were previously housed in other buildings on campus. In addition, the Center has many green features, including a green roof to absorb water runoff and reduce heating and cooling costs, a glass curtain wall to maximize the amount of daylight entering the building, low-emitting materials and low-flow fixtures and landscaping that requires no irrigation. Hillier plan to pursue LEED silver certification for the building.

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