Anchoring the busy intersection of Paseo de San Carlos and Seventh Street, San
Jose State University’s sun-filled Student Wellness Center (SWC) is a natural
magnet and enjoyable destination, fulfilling its mission to serve as a
gathering place for students and support a culture of wellness and active
student life. The three-story, 53,000
square foot facility houses approximately 70 employees and 20 student
assistants and delivers basic outpatient and primary care services to hundreds
of students daily.
Upon selection as the winning
design-build team, RATCLIFF and Blach engaged in a series of user meetings, where
intensive user input led to the inclusion of a wellness and health
lounge and a “stress free zone” for quiet, private rejuvenation.
The interior, based on the concept of a “pod planning” model, provides
private spaces for physicians and counselors and an open plan concept for
support and administrative services. There
is ample space for massage, acupuncture, dentistry and optometry programs and
preventative care. A juice bar and
demonstration kitchen supports programmed events as well as daily use.
The Student Wellness Center’s modernist design blends with the diverse
campus architecture and is well suited to its prominent site. “Conceived from one of the
major styles developed on campus, the building successfully melds outside and
inside by establishing new gathering spaces with sensitive landscaping, façade
design and material selections, all the while aligning planning and budget with
campus integration as the ultimate goal,”
said RATCLIFF’s managing
architect Gary Jereczek.
The SWC was designed and built as a
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-equivalent project.
Numerous sustainable principles were implemented, such as optimized energy
performance, water-efficient landscaping and maximum use of daylight.
A generous 15-foot floor-to-floor height allows daylight through to the
interior. Exam rooms have transom windows above the door to allow daylight to
enter without compromising privacy. “Daylight is vital to an active, open and
healing environment,” Jereczek said. “One of the core concepts and values
associated with the center is to create an environment that welcomes student
and supports student physical and mental health as a life-long journey of
knowledge and balance.”
Ample interior height also provides
flexibility of changing program elements and building use. Mechanical
infrastructure and larger spaces can be developed for future changes as the center
matures and needs evolve.
“I am very proud of what our entire
team – the client, designer and builder – achieved on this project,” said Blach
Construction’s Project Executive Scott Bergstrom. “We delivered a superior
quality product, respected the budget goals and finished ahead of schedule. The
result is a state-of-the-art Wellness Center that will serve the students at
San Jose State University.”
The project, completed nine weeks
ahead of schedule, utilized Blach’s in-house resources during the
preconstruction phase to develop a building model that expedited
the steel erection, deck installation, setting of MEP anchor points, placement
of the deck concrete and started the exterior framing. During construction, Blach used an innovative prefabricated structural system
from ConXtech to expedite erection of the structural steel, a key component of
the project’s open and flexible design. Erection time for this system was
completed in five working days, saving field labor costs and time in the overall