Construction could begin by late June on an expanded student health center at Kansas University, university officials said.
The $5.65 million expansion of Watkins Student Health Center -- financed by $15 student fees assessed each semester to every KU student -- should be completed by July 1996, said David Schaecher, program manager for KU's office of capital programs.
Renovations to the health center's urgent care clinic -- which will expand from three to eight beds -- will be finished by July 1997, said Allen Wiechert, university architect.
Charles Yockey, the center's chief of staff, said nurses currently take information in hallways and at desks, and doctors face inefficient practices because of a lack of available examination rooms.
That's all going to change, with 30 new exam rooms to be open by next summer -- enough for each member of Yockey's 11-physician staff to have at least two examination rooms.
"It's obviously scary to be spending $5 million on an expansion with all the changes in health care, but students will always get sick, and we have a great location," Yockey said. "The trend in health care is outpatient ambulatory care, and that's all we do."
The center's 17,000-square-foot addition will be built by RMT Construction of Olathe, which submitted the low successful bid of $2.82 million.
The urgent care clinic works like an emergency room by caring for people with nausea, migraine headaches, kidney stones and cuts, Yockey said.