By CHRISTIAN BELANGER
The University of Chicago is constructing a new student wellness center at 59th Street and Maryland Avenue, renovating the existing Lying-In Hospital building in the process. The center, which will be built by design firm Wight & Company, is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2020.
The new center is part of a continuing construction boom at the U. of C. — just south of the Midway Plaisance on Woodlawn Avenue, the university is currently building the David M. Rubenstein Forum, a meeting and event space, and the Woodlawn Residential Commons, a new student dorm.
Wight & Company’s wellness center project is less ambitious than those other undertakings; the only significant new construction is a single-story glass structure that will fill in an existing courtyard. Both the glass structure and a new, dedicated student entrance are designed to remain as unobtrusive as possible, in order to help maintain a view of the Lying-In Hospital building’s neo-gothic architecture. There are also a few changes to the hospital building itself: the ground floor will be renovated, and a small courtyard will be added.
“This new center will provide more space, allowing us to increase our staff of medical and mental health providers, and enabling us to build on the enhancements we’ve made in recent years to our programs and services,” said dean of students Michele Rasmussen in a press release.