By Henri Gendreau
He’s back. Graham Gund ’63 has returned to Gambier bigger, better and in the form of a new two-story Health Center that is challenging the post office for dominance of the Scott Lane skyline.
The 8,500 square-foot facility, which is expected to be completed in the spring, serves a dual purpose for both health and counseling services ﾗ it will boast four examination rooms and three consultation rooms on the first floor and five individual counseling offices on the second.
“The Center is meant to fit in more with the Village,” said Holly Miller, an associate with Gund Partnership, the architectural firm in charge of the project. “The Center will look more residential, a clapboard house with wooden windows,” she said.
Since the counseling and health services are divided by a floor, there will be no need for separate entrances and exits, unlike in the current Health Center.
“We really thought about student privacy,” Miller said.
The new Center, which is estimated to cost $1.7 million, is being constructed on the site of the old Hillel House and print shop, both of which were razed over the summer to make room for the facility and new Hillel House.
“We’re really planning to transform the spotlight with this new Center,” Miller said. “I think it will be much more pedestrian-friendly.
“We’d like to have a front porch that meets the street where people can wait, so that the Center just generally feels more connected with campus and with the traffic of people,” she added.
Plans for a new Hillel House are also underway. The Village Council approved a variance for the new Jewish life center at its Sept. 9 meeting; a variance was required because the structure will be 280 square feet over the maximum footage allowed for a single-floor building in Gambier.
“We’ve trimmed down quite a bit. We just couldn’t get to the magic number,” Steve Arnett, director of campus planning and construction, told the Council. Despite an initial design of over 3,000 square feet, planners with Bloomfield Architects were able to reconfigure the building to still include a chapel, dining room, kitchens, student lounge and library. Bloomfield did not respond to requests for comment.
A dividing wall, too, will allow the 30-person carpeted chapel and dining room to become a single, large-event space. “Mainly the building has been designed to expand based on the needs of the chapel,” Arnett said.
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