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New Falcon Health Center for students opens after 6 months of construction

A shovel raised the first clump of dirt in spring, construction continued throughout summer and now there’s a new health center before fall.

After breaking ground on Valentine’s Day, the Falcon Health Center opened its doors to students Monday, Aug. 19, followed by a dedication ceremony and open house on Wednesday.

Located on the corner of Wooster Street and South College Avenue across the street from Hanna Hall, the $5 million center is the result of a collaboration between the University and Wood County Hospital.

Wood County Hospital manages the center, the University leases the land to the hospital and many of the employees from the old Student Health Center on Ridge Street will continue to work there, albeit as University employees.

The decision to both outsource the service to Wood County Hospital and also to construct a new building stems from a variety of factors, said Richard Sipp, associate vice president for Student Affairs and executive director of the Center for Student Health.

The services will expand and improve as a result of the partnership. In addition to being a primary care health service for students, the center also offers psychiatric services, radiology, a drive-thru pharmacy and a lab for blood draw and urine analysis. Also located in the building is the student insurance office, the only facet of health services still managed by the University.

“We really wanted it to be a one-stop shop for the students,” Sipp said. “I hope they get the same level of quality access and satisfaction that they did previously.”

To improve access, the University added a shuttle stop at the new building. The building offers more space and larger exam rooms, Sipp said. The ever-growing College of Health and Human Services will now be the sole occupant of the old Student Health Center building.

\The second floor remains empty space, should a need arise for expanded services, Sipp said.

“This new building is definitely an improvement,” said Jill Carr, senior associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students.

Though the University no longer manages health services, Sipp ensures that Deb Busdeker, director of Student Health Services and Nicholas Espinoza, the center’s medical director, understand the needs of students.

Wood County Hospital is no stranger to working with the University.

“This is just another aspect of our partnership with the University,” said Catherine Harned, director of marketing for Wood County Hospital. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to work with the University to offer this service.”

And while $5 million may seem like a high price tag to offer this service in a new building, students won’t be burdened with the cost.

Student fees didn’t increase at all to fund the construction. Instead the $1.6 million in general fees students pay yearly to the health center was redirected to renovate the Rec Center, allowing the University to accomplish two large projects, Carr said.

The building, which took six months to construct, has an orange and brown scheme with an architectural design that incorporates the array of architectural themes on campus, Carr said.

“Not only does the exterior fit in,” Sipp said, “but when you go inside, you’ll see BGSU graphics.”

The hope, Sipp said, is that students will feel like they’re still in a University-operated building.

“We want the students to feel comfortable,” Sipp said. “We want them to feel like they’re in a space dedicated to them.”


—Approximate cost of the health center- $5 million

—Amount of increase to student fees to pay for the health center: $0

—Number of private patient exam rooms- 22

—Number of parking spots- 65

—Number of total employees- 37

*Information provided by the Office of Student Affairs and Wood County Hospital

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