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The Student Health and Counseling Center under construction on Sept. 8, 2017. (Megan Trindad/The Collegian)

Health center makeover almost complete

Fresno State’s Student Health and Counseling Center has been undergoing reconstruction for over a year now, but this month all of that work should be completed.

According to information provided by Deborah Adishian-Astone, vice president for administration and associate vice president for auxiliary services, the renovations are costing $580,478.

Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, said this project has been a long time coming. The health center building has gone without renovations for what he estimated to be over 30 years, and the cracks were beginning to show.

“The building had water stains on it from sprinklers that weren’t aligning, trees that were dead and a whole bunch of other stuff that did not really make it easy for students to get in and out of the building,” Lamas said.

He said the first phase of the project was renovating the interior, a phase that is close to completion. The lobby, pharmacy, medical center and counseling center are now meant be more spacious and easier to navigate through. Fresno State branding has been added, building school spirit in those who see it.

“I think we now have a very modern facility that I think our students deserve to have,” Lamas said. “I think we’ve come a really long way in a short time with the interior spaces.

The focus has now turned to the exterior, which Lamas described as the final phase.

“I think this last phase is more of taking care of sidewalks, the grass, the trees and the shrubs,” he said. “You know, just aesthetically making it more pleasing for the students and beautifying the campus.”

Lamas said a lot of the focus behind the renovations is the students and their needs.

“All of these things were really based on things that people wanted, or concerns expressed, or the fact that it was an aging building,” he said.

The health center is still open for business, and Lamas said that the response to the renovations, so far, has been overwhelmingly positive. He said he’s heard comments that the building looks new.

Two Fresno State students echoed a few of those statements in their reactions to the work being done.

“I like it, I think it looks nice,” Lizette Sanchez said. I think it’s good that they’re renovating the outside. It used to look pretty sad.”

Denae Vaughn said she believes the renovations are a good sign because the building looks more “updated and advanced.”

Vaughn and Sanchez made it clear that the construction has not interfered with their service and needs at the health center.

According to Adishian-Astone’s, the construction is scheduled to be finished on Oct. 16. Lamas said it could be finished before or after that date depending on the weather and other circumstances.