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Health Center nears completion

Ryan Sydlik | Monday, December 4, 2006

University Health Services will return in January to its former location behind the Main Building after a year-and-a-half absence and $9.5 million of renovations.

Throughout the overhaul, Health Services has operated out of the old Security building, where Notre Dame Security/Police was located until it moved to the recently constructed Hammes Mowbray Hall.

Ann Kleva, director of University Health Services, called the renovations to the Student Health Center building “absolutely phenomenal.”

The updated facility will be much easier to navigate than the old one, Kleva said, and it will have an improved healthcare environment.

“The way it’s positioned, it’s going to be much easier for students to receive services,” she said.

University Health Services plans to use the renovated building for both updated and new health programs. It will house physical therapy services run through an independent vendor for students and staff. The South Bend Medical Foundation will also extend its hours when the new building opens.

Kleva said the renovation was undertaken at this time because the old building – built in 1935 for the cost of $295,000 – had not undergone any major renovations since its original construction and that it needed to be made more modern than its 1930s design.

“The [old] building was completely gutted, the walls, everything,” Kleva said.

She said only a few parts of the original building, like the exterior walls, the mainstay supports and the original terrazzo surfaces on the stairways were left. The bottom of the chimney from the boiler house originally built on the site also remained, Kleva said.

“Other than [those] the whole building is brand new [including] the electrical, the plumbing [and] the heating,” she said.

The William K. Warren Foundation funded the renovation. William K. Warren, a Class of 1956 alumnus, is a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

The building will be renamed St. Liam Hall, after St. Liam of York. The name was chosen to also honor Warren’s father, William Warren, Sr., since Liam is the English nickname for William.

Kleva said the old Security building provided an ideal space and was practical for Health Services as an interim home. It was actually an improvement over the former building, she said, but the newly renovated St. Liam Hall will be a much better location than the current location.

Health Services will start its move into St. Liam Dec. 16, and will be open for students Jan. 15, the beginning of spring semester.