USC broke ground on the v on Tuesday.
The $15 million health center will open in spring 2013 on the north side of campus along Jefferson Boulevard, near Fluor Tower, and will reflect USC’s traditional architecture with a greco-roman style.
President C. L. Max Nikias said the five-story, 101,000-square foot center will have space for specialized health practitioners, not just general physicians, and will be able to serve an increasingly residential campus.
“We need an institution that is worthy of our world-class university,” Nikias said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“[This] immense gift will enhance the health and wellness of our current students, our staff and faculty and our future Trojans for decades to come,” Neinstein said.
Michele Engemann, a 1968 graduate of the School of Theatre alumna and daughter of baseball coach Rod Dedeaux, said she recalls using the current health center when she was a student at USC.
“I have friends who have grandchildren that go here,” Engemann said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We are now into our third generation of students using that same facility. Roger and I have a keen understanding that this [new] building is needed and needed now, especially as USC becomes a more residential university and expects the health needs of students, grad students and faculty living and working in our campus community.”
Former Undergraduate Student Government President Chris Cheng said development of a new health center was one of students’ primary requests during his campaign for office last year.
“You truly couldn’t have picked a more significant issue to address the needs of the USC student body,” Cheng said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Undergraduates spend a lot of time together in very, very, very close-quartered living spaces … The spirit of that community builds life-long relationships, but can also foster influenza.”
Natalie Morin, a freshman majoring in print and digital journalism, said the current health center’s physical structure undermines its credibility.
“The Health Center is so … small that I don’t feel like I’m going to get the care I need,” Morin said. “It’s not because of the doctors or the staff, but because the building is just so small and dated.”