ASU Health Services hosted a grand opening Tuesday to showcase its newly renovated and expanded building, a long-awaited $10 million project.
The building was constructed in 1954, renovated in 1968 and hadn’t been altered since, but now contains new technology and conveniences.
The renovated building aims to make health trips more efficient and make the building more inviting, said Dr. Allan Markus, director of ASU Health Services.
“You don’t have to come here when you’re just sick,” Markus said.
With multiple exam rooms and the ability to perform all exams and tests in one room, Health Services is able to see 30 to 50 more patients per day and cut visit length without changing the number of staff, Markus said.
In addition to a more efficient design, the new building incorporates cutting-edge technology.
Students who are not on the Tempe campus can see a doctor via interactive screen and no longer have to travel to the Tempe campus to see a doctor.
In a presentation of the new conference room, Markus spoke to a nurse practitioner on the Polytechnic campus and listened to a mock patient’s heartbeat through speakers.
“It makes it much easier for (the nurse practitioner) to take care of patients,” Markus said. “Doctors can be there every day of the week, in essence.”
The Health and Counseling Student Action Committee lobbied the Arizona Board of Regents for a new building in 2008, when the population of 55,000 students at the Tempe campus was almost four times more than what the University’s entire population was when the original facility was built, Markus said.
“We needed to improve the facilities to improve the efficiency of care,” Markus said.
Facing budget cuts in May 2008, ABOR passed a student health services fee to pay for an updated building.
Donna Estabrook, associate director of ASU Health Services on the Tempe campus, said the vision was to provide more services to students.
“We are very grateful for the students who supported health services on campus and voted in a fee,” Estabrook said.
Construction began on the building in 2010. The expanded section of the building opened in October 2011, and the renovated portion opened in February 2012.
Tyler Smith, project engineer for Utah-based Okland Construction and an ASU alumnus, said the building is a landmark on the Tempe campus.
The building is the first project Smith worked on with Okland Construction, he said.
He worked closely with two other alumni: Senior Project Manager Tim Goyette and Project Superintendant Jess Smith.
“It’s a big honor for all of us, really,” Smith said.
The building is LEED certified, Smith said. The construction used recycled material, and the U.S. Green Building Council will certify the building “gold.”
“It’s a dream to be involved in a job like this,” Smith said.
Reach the reporter at Michelle.Peirano@asu.edu