Third floor of Student Health Center to reopen Friday after renovations


The renovations to the third floor of the student health center are nearly finished and the floor will reopen Friday. 

Mina Kaji, Contributing Reporter

The third floor of the Student Health Center will reopen to students on Friday. It has been undergoing renovations since last spring. 

The Student Health Center was built in 1959 and the last time a similar remodeling process took place was in the late 1980s, Director of Student Health Scott Tims said. 

“I assumed my job in January and my top priority was to make sure the building was functioning better,” Tims said. “I wanted to raise the standards and make the health center better for everyone involved.”

The planning for this project began in January when Tulane health officials started speaking to university design services.

“We wanted to improve the cleanliness of the building, accommodate the patient flow and make the space more user friendly,” Tims said.

The health center now features designated waiting areas that Tims hopes will improve privacy and confidentiality. Previously, students would have to sit outside the clinic door and sometimes they could overhear other patients’ conversations.

Privacy has also been improved with the addition of self check-in kiosks. Students may swipe their Splash Cards and wait for a nurse, instead of announcing the topic of their clinic visit in front of their peers. Currently, there are two kiosks on the second floor and two on the third floor.

“We started the self check-in kiosks in July,” Tims said. “We are still trying to work out some of the kinks but overall we are happy to offer this service to our students.”

The health center is also featuring new signage that will be installed within the next two weeks. Tims hopes that the signs will make it easier for students to navigate the health center.

“We are setting it up so that students are always greeted by a check-in desk to point them in the right direction,” Tims said. “The signs were old and they were not always correct.”

Due to the building’s age, the Student Health Center had to go through an asbestos removal process.

“It’s been a lot of work to go through and remove the dangerous stuff so that we can come in and put in cleaner materials,” Tims said.

Crews replaced the carpet with tile in an effort to make the floor easier to clean. They also painted the walls. The new installments now allow employees to bleach and sanitize the rooms. 

“In a clinic area you want to have things that can be wiped off in case someone gets sick on it,” Tims said.

Student Health has covered all of the costs for the renovation. It has been putting aside money for building upgrades over the past four years.

“We are trying to provide the students with better access to care, as well as a better environment to get the care they are looking for,” Medical Director Daniel Garrett said. “We wanted to give the clinic a more modernized look.”

A similar renovation process will also occur to the second floor this upcoming May. The senior leadership at the health center wanted the second floor project to begin this fall but due to structural issues the whole floor would have to be closed.

“We just couldn’t take it offline while students are here,” Tims said. “It also gives us more time to plan so that it will run more smoothly.” 

Tims had several conversations with students initially to see what they wanted changed about the Student Health Center. 

“I feel pretty confident that students will really like the change,” Tims said. “It is so much cleaner and more open.”