Junette Reyes/Editor in Chief
A new building is joining the family of Academic Health Centers at Modesto Maidique Campus.
As of Thursday, Oct. 9, Academic Health Center 5 is now open to to the University community.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held outside the entrance of AHC-5 on Thursday from 2p.m. to 4p.m to welcome the new home of the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, the International Hurricane Research Center, the Extreme Events Institute, Behavioral Health Labs, and the Department of Earth and Environment from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Before AHC-5, these departments were dispersed throughout the campus.
The Department of Earth and Environment was previously split between the Engineering and Computer Science building as well as the Charles Perry building. The International Hurricane Research Center was previously located within the MARC Pavilion building. The Robert Stempel College had its programs located within AHC-1, AHC-2, and the Steve and Dorothea Green Library.
“It’s just more difficult for people to act with each other. It just makes things more difficult,” said Acting Dean Mark Williams of the Robert Stempel College in regards to what the programs had to deal with before.
The building is especially significant use to the Robert Stempel College, because it will house the entire academic department of the college in the same place for the first time.
This includes the Departments of Biostatistics, Dietetics and Nutrition, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and the School of Social Work.
“[This is] the first time in the history of the college that all the faculty have been together in one building and we think that is going to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration among the groups that are in the building, not just within the college but also with the programs from Arts and Sciences that are there,” said Williams.
“That’s the real significance of it, I think. Having the students and faculty all together in one building. It’s just going to help increase research, increase inner collaboration,” he said.
Located right across from Parking Garage-5, ground for the $45 million building was first broken in a ceremony on July 11, 2012. Construction since then produced a 121,400 square-foot complex with space for classrooms, laboratories, and offices.