While Worth Student Health Center's stone outer walls may look unchanged, they conceal a major renovation that includes substantial upgrades to the nearly 50-year-old building. Now that it is open after a summer of construction, Director of Student Health Services Beth Kotarski is looking forward to introducing students to the newly completed space.
"It's just a top of the line healthcare facility, which is nice because it shows the College really is invested in the students' health," Kotaski says. "They know that students can only do this job of being a student if they maintain good health."
Worth now features an added conference room that can hold 30 people, which will work well for student groups such as the Sexual Health Counselors and the Student Health Advisory Council. The building also has new exam rooms, central air conditioning, and bigger windows that are more energy efficient. It also can better accommodate modern student wellness needs, as well as wheelchairs and assistive devices.
"The old building was very open," Kotarski adds. "The nurses' center was right in the middle of the room, so it was just not a private setting. [The renovation] takes care of that because we have several barriers between the public and patients, so patients get a sense that their privacy is very well-protected."
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will also benefit from a newly renovated wing.
"What's changed most is that we have double the office space," says CAPS Director David Ramirez. The CAPS section within Worth has gone from four offices to nine, and for the first time will be able to consolidate all of its operations under one roof. The CAPS staff is set to move into their new space on Sept. 17.
"The numbers of students who use CAPS have gone up in recent years," Kotarski says, "so it's nice to be able to have that space expanded."
Kotarski stressed how exciting the renovation process has been.
"Every step of the way has been thrilling," she says. "It's just amazing to me how professional the folks have been who are working on the project, how much they want it to be as perfect as it can be."
There are plans to hold an open house at Worth once final finishing touches are completed later this semester.