CSUSM celebrated the groundbreaking of its future Student Health and Counseling Services Building (SHCSB) at a special campus ceremony on Tuesday, Jun. 18. The new 20,000-square-foot, two-story building will be located adjacent to Parking Structure One and across the street from the University Student Union, also under construction, on the corner of Campus Way and Campus View Drive.

Currently the University’s health and counseling services are located off campus in the San Marcos Health Center on Craven Road. There students have access to acute care, care for limited on-going issues, psychiatry, psychological counseling, health education and a pharmacy. The new SHCS Building will bring healthcare closer to students while promoting healthy lifestyles and overall wellness, a boon for the entire campus community.

“Studies demonstrate a significant connection between academic performance and nutrition, physical activity, alcohol use and violence,” commented Dr. Karen Nicholson, director of Student Health and Counseling Services. “Students who develop a healthy lifestyle in an environment that supports healthy choices will likely have the best academic outcomes. We look forward to having a 21st century facility to support our Cal State San Marcos students.”

SHCSB will be state-of-the-art, featuring clinical and counseling offices, a group conference/library room, a laboratory, waiting areas, health education spaces and a pharmacy. The $9.5 million project is funded through student fees.

“We are, without a doubt, creating a space that will improve people’s lives,” said CSUSM President Karen Haynes. “Through routine check ups and wellness programs to mental health services, we are literally stitching together a better campus community.”

Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the new building will conform to the campus’ strict green building standards. Sustainable features include four bio-retention areas to treat storm water before it flows into the storm system and high efficiency water fixtures to allow a 30 percent water savings; use of automatic day lighting controls and occupancy sensors; and interior lighting that will use energy-efficient electronic ballast and energy-efficient lamps.

With the completion of the University Student Union and SHCSB, both now under construction, CSUSM will have opened ten new buildings since 2003.

“The list of our new facilities is impressive when you consider that we have been able to build at a time when other universities are struggling to maintain their current facilities or foregoing capital projects,” said Haynes. “As is our style, we have accomplished this utilizing multiple revenue streams, through partnerships and other avenues. Universities that are good stewards of their students and employees must invest in the well being of their communities and, with this building, we are doing just that.”

Construction of SHCSB is scheduled to be completed in fall 2014.

“The list of our new facilities is impressive when you consider that we have been able to build at a time when other universities are struggling to maintain their current facilities or foregoing capital projects,” said Haynes. “As is our style, we have accomplished this utilizing multiple revenue streams, through partnerships and other avenues. Universities that are good stewards of their students and employees must invest in the well being of their communities and, with this building, we are doing just that.”