HUB architects unveil future plans

Photo courtesy of | The HUB will feature a new campus recreation center, a café and a health facility in addition to classrooms. Several focus groups have been held.

After hosting multiple focus groups on campus, the minds behind the Health United Building (HUB) met with the Student Government Association (SGA) during their weekly meeting on Monday. Bill Baker, the architect for the HUB, was joined by Leah Busam Klenowski, a staff representative on the steering committee for the HUB.

Michael Schuster Associates (MSA) architects have been partnering with Xavier for more than 10 years and have been working on the recreation center for campus for more than 12. Baker listed Alter Hall and much of the work in the Cintas Center as just a few examples of their projects with the university.

Students in the College of Professional Sciences — nursing, exercise science and occupational therapy, will attend class in the building, Baker said. It will be located on Cleneay Avenue where the Urban Farm currently sits. In addition to hosting classes, the HUB will also include a café, a new campus recreation center and a health facility in partnership with TriHealth. On Xavier’s web page for the HUB Dr. Stephen Cleves, a Xavier alum and medical director at McGrath Health and Wellness Center, said, “Putting a medical office in with a rec center plus wellness facility is where health care is going.”

Approximately 100 people are involved in the 157,000-square foot project, including the Board of Trustees and the Trustees Task Force. The project also requires working with Sustainability and Physical Plant, among others. Above all, however, is the Xavier building plan, which is a list of eight principles that all of the buildings on campus should conform to. This ensures that the campus is walkable, that it fosters a collection of memorable spaces and that students feel they are citizens of a surrounding neighborhood.

“Xavier is one of the most inclusive (universities) in the decision-making process,” Baker said.

Xavier is always interested in input and feedback, he adds, to reflect the university’s mission and goals.

Baker described the HUB as a “legacy building,” intending to meet both current and future needs. It will have a total of five levels, including an underground floor, and features a four-lane pool, locker rooms, three fitness studios, three full-sized wooden “rubberized” multi-purpose courts, 11 general classrooms, 12 private study rooms, 11 counseling and trainee offices, seven labs and a large lobby.

Baker hopes the HUB will become the new front door for the university. When students toured Xavier’s campus before their first year, “how many of you remember standing on the hill and (hearing your tour guide say) ‘and over there’s the rec center!’” Baker asked referring to highlighting the HUB’s role as a new and inviting institution on campus.
Nick Newport, a sophomore exercise science major, had his own thoughts after attending the focus group geared toward student clubs on Sept. 13.

“It looks more friendly, it looks more welcoming,” Newport said.

Newport believes that having an inviting, inclusive recreation center is critical to having the full college experience.

“Working out is a big experience for you to kinda grow in yourself,” he said.

By: Soondos Mulla-Ossman ~Copy Editor~