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Health Professions building to receive renovations this summer

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions building will undergo renovations to the computer lab in room 1250, which will be replaced with a student services center.

The Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education will also have its audiology lab expanded, a waiting room added and the physical therapy area expanded.

The student service center is expected to be complete around July 4. Renovations to the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education will start in May and are expected to conclude in August.

The renovations to the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education will cost $144,000. It will be paid for by savings and budget from the college reserves. .

The student service center, along with renovations to the atrium to increase student interaction space and the addition of a small printing center, will cost the college $230,000.

The computer center was not being utilized the way it used to be when built 11 years ago, said Denise Webster, interim associate dean of the College of Health Professions.

“Students are using their laptops more and more often. The Health Professions building needs to evolve with the times and become more efficient,” she said. “We want to bring the Student Service Center to the students so that they know we are here to help them.”

Grand Rapids doctoral student Jake Van Timmeren said while it’s inconvenient to replace the computer lab with a student service center, it won’t affect students that much.

“For the most part replacing the computer lab is fine,” he said. “Not too many people use (the lab). However, there have been times when I’ve seen people come in and turn around to leave because there aren’t enough computers.”

Additional faculty has also been hired to work at the new Student Services Center. Faculty salaries and benefits will cost about $90,000 Webster said.

Sharon Livernois, student services center assistant director, was hired in January. She will work with transfer and prospective students, as well as going to high schools to promote the college.

Academic adviser Kelly Lawson and success coach Sydney Davis were also hired. Lawson had her office in the Towers Success Center. Her office was split between the Towers Success Center and the Health Professions building during the fall of 2015. She moved to the Health Professions building in December.

“We brought these individuals to the building because we are hoping students will take advantage of their services and guidance,” Webster said.

The Health Professions college has also requested another academic adviser from the Provost.

Webster said placing the student service center adjacent to the atrium was the best location because it will be at the center of student activity. Eight to 10 computers from the lab have been moved to other locations throughout the building. Groups of two computers are being placed in study areas in the building, such as next to Java City.

While the student services center will offer more support and guidance to students who need it, the printing and computers will still be available to students at other locations.

The printers will still be available to use. They’ve been moved outside of the computer lab into the hallway by both staircases in the atrium.