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Ashe Center will undergo seismic construction until January

The UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center is pictured. The Ashe Center will undergo seismic reconstruction until January. (Julia Zhou/Assistant Photo editor)

By Yashila Suresh

June 28, 2023 2:03 p.m.

This post was updated July 2 at 7:41 p.m.

The Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center will undergo seismic reconstruction until January.

Construction at the Ashe Center will work to improve seismic resiliency, according to an April 28 press release. Other campus buildings, including Powell Library, also began seismic reconstruction earlier this year.

[Related: Powell Library to remain under construction for seismic safety till early 2024]

As part of the seismic reconstruction, the building’s exterior and interior walls will be reinforced to increase seismic stability, the press release said.

Chaitali Mukherjee, the executive director of the Ashe Center and an internal medicine physician, said in an emailed statement that the university also aims to add accessibility upgrades as well as safety enhancements, in addition to seismic stability.

“Seismic upgrades will allow The Ashe Center to maintain its structural integrity in the event of an earthquake to keep our staff and students safe,” Mukherjee said in the press release.

The Ashe Center will remain open during construction, but certain services will be temporarily relocated, she added. While the Ashe Center will still have in-person appointments, the number of telehealth appointments is expected to increase during this period, according to the Ashe Center’s website.

Mukherjee said in an emailed statement that the Ashe Center aims to continue providing health services with minimal interference from the construction. The center will still offer all its services during its regular business hours, but there may be temporary changes in the location of services as needed, she added.

Relocated services include dentistry provider Campus Smiles, the Ashe Center’s physical therapy program and acupuncture services, which have moved to Sproul Hall, UCLA Capital Programs building and the Counseling and Psychological Services building, respectively, the Ashe Center’s website stated.

Saumya Mahajan, a first-year mathematics/economics student, said the Ashe Center is beneficial to students because of its accessibility and efficiency compared to off-campus health centers.

However, Mahajan said she worries the construction could limit the quick access to the center, especially for students who need immediate resources.

“I just hope they keep in mind the convenience … and find a way to continue to provide assistance to students on campus,” Mahajan said.

Mukherjee said in an emailed statement that students should not worry about changes in the way they receive their medical care or their access to it. She added that most of the construction will take place over the summer when there is a limited student population on campus.

Eighty percent of the Ashe Center’s building space will also reopen before fall quarter to ensure students have full access to care after the summer break, she said in an emailed statement.

“We are committed to providing the same high quality health care during renovation,” said Mukherjee in an emailed statement. “Careful planning over the past year will allow the Ashe Center to meet the demand for services.”

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