Irvine, Calif., Nov. 5, 2018 — Recognizing the importance of wellness and support services to overall student success, the University of California, Irvine today revealed plans to build a comprehensive, conveniently located center that will house mental health, wellness and academic counseling programs under one roof.
Projected to open in fall 2022, the Student Success Building is designed to enhance programs that contribute to student success – everything from academic counseling to mental health services to support for students with disabilities – whose physical space has not kept pace with growth of the student body.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to construct this building, dedicated to the success of our amazing students, without imposing any additional financial burden on our students,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Our students are at the heart of everything we do, and their success is a central pillar of our mission.”
“It’s an exciting project that ultimately will help ensure the success of our students not only while they’re here at UCI, but also when they move forward in life,” added Edgar J. Dormitorio, interim vice chancellor of student affairs.
UCI always has provided high-quality wellness, health and counseling services to its student body, and increased demand has necessitated more space for them. In the last decade alone, enrollment has grown about 25 percent, to more than 35,000 students. Putting such services under one roof will improve opportunities for collaboration and coordination, UCI officials said.
Construction on the Student Success Building, proposed to be built across from the Anteater Learning Pavilion, is scheduled to begin in 2020. It will include approximately 53,500 square feet of program and event space, as well as administrative office and support space, to address the most urgent needs of our student community.
Units to be housed there include the Counseling Center, the Center for Student Wellness & Health Promotion, the Campus Assault Resources & Education office, the Disability Services Center, the Division of Career Pathways and the Veteran Services Center, as well as social workers and programs from the Division of Teaching Excellence & Innovation.
The Student Health Center will remain at its current location.
Mental health services will be a key component of the Student Success Building, Dormitorio said. Funds made available throughout the UC system a few years ago have allowed UCI to hire more mental health professionals to meet increasing demand for such services, he said, but finding space to accommodate them has been challenging. The new structure will solve that issue, he added.
In addition to improved and centralized space for counseling services, the Student Success Building will include a distraction-free testing environment for midterms and finals, Dormitorio said.
Student leaders praised the idea of a Student Success Building, saying it will enhance wellness, health and counseling services that currently are spread out over four buildings.
“It’s nice that they’re going to have all these services in one centrally located building,” said Michelle Herrera, president of UCI’s Associated Graduate Students. “It will especially be wonderful for those students who don’t even know the many resources that are available to them.”
The Student Success Building will be financed by campus resources supplemented by a combination of newly available state capital resources and fundraising.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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