HUB opening to kick off semester

Despite early delays, the building will be partially open in time for classes

 Earlier this summer, Father Michael Graham, president, announced that a portion of the newest addition to Xavier’s campus, the Health United Building (HUB) will be opening on the first day of the fall semester, Monday, Aug. 19, which is earlier than expected

In a previous Newswire article, Graham stated that complications with soil contamination on the HUB’s site would push back the opening date until November 2019. However, in early July, Graham said “time lost has since been made up — at least, with respect to the academic wing.”  

The academic wing of the HUB, which will be accessible on Aug. 19, includes 11 classrooms and several state-of-the-art labs for nursing, sports studies and occupational therapy students. In addition, this part of the building will be home to a health services center that contains ten physical exam rooms, seven counseling offices and a pharmacy, according to the Xavier website.

It is anticipated that all nursing labs will be held in the HUB for the coming semester, however labs for athletic training and exercise science majors will be ready for use later in the fall.

This news excites some of the growing number of nursing students at Xavier.

“I think that these facilities will really improve my education because they will be nicer and more focused on the idea of inter-professional relationships,” sophomore nursing major Riley Chism said.

Chism went on the explain that “talk of the HUB plans even affected (her) decision to go to Xavier” because of modern nursing facilities that would be offered.

Already, the $54 million facility has added appeal to the school as prospective and incoming students express similar enthusiasm about the HUB’s early opening.

“Watching the HUB get built and seeing what it would be definitely helped me narrow down my colleges,” incoming first-year criminal justice student Raine Shults said

Shults explains that she has heard people talking about the HUB’s new opening date and is excited to have access to the building’s new amenities sooner than expected. She also admits that the announcement probably did not have quite the same impact on her as upperclassmen who have watched the construction. Still, “the early opening is exciting,” she said.

The HUB itself is a massive building with four floors, spanning roughly 160,300 square feet. According to Xavier’s website, the two chief construction partners on the project, Messer construction and MSA architects, designed the building to be ten times larger than O’Connor Sports Center. It is expected that anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 students will visit the building every day, making it a significant destination on campus.   

The majority of the space is dedicated to the right side of the building which will be home to the new fitness and recreation center, featuring three fitness studios, three basketball courts, a four-lane pool, a two-level fitness area and a self-serving café. This remaining part of the building is scheduled to be complete and ready for use in November.

The final feature, a multi-purpose court will be opening in March of 2020. The Newswire previously reported that this item was originally scrapped, but has since been added back onto the design plans when a $3 million contingency packet was not needed.

“We believe this building will play a critical role in shaping our students—who they become and how they live in the future,” Graham said. “We know that today’s students want balanced and healthy lifestyles. This building is designed to meet the physical, mental and wellness needs of all students and the fast-changing, academic needs of our health sciences students.”

Beginning on July 22, furniture began to be delivered to the construction site. Faculty members and health services administration are set to begin moving into their new spaces starting on Aug. 1 so the building can be available for tours on move-in-day on Thursday, Aug. 15.

To track continuing updates and the countdown to opening day, visit https://www.xavier.edu/health-united-building.

By Sierra Ross | Staff Writer