Stanford University

News Service



James Robinson, News Service (650) 723-5675; e-mail:

Trustees give preliminary approval for new health service building

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday gave conceptual approval for construction of a new student health facility to replace the current Cowell Student Health Service building, which lacks adequate space and does not meet today's standards for seismic safety and access for the disabled.

Pending final approval by the board, the new, two-story building is expected to be ready for use in the fall of 2002. It will be located immediately east of the current building on Campus Drive at Cowell Lane, on what is now a parking lot.

Because the university is under development constraints from Santa Clara County, the new building will be no larger than the current, 30,000-square-foot structure. However, the existing building, which was built in 1965, has large amounts of unusable space.

There are numerous functional deficiencies in the current building, including an insufficient number of exam rooms, said Dr. Ira M. Friedman, director of Cowell Student Health Service.

"Our new facility will help us to better serve all Stanford students. It will offer improved seismic safety and better comfort, privacy and disabled access," Friedman said.

"It will be exciting to practice in a setting that is designed for modern health care. Students will be able to feel and appreciate the difference," he said.

"I am thrilled that students will have this new resource," said James Montoya, vice provost for student affairs. "A strong health care program for undergraduate and graduate students is of key importance to a residential university," he said.

Plans to address Cowell's space problems have been ongoing for five years. While the original plan called for renovating the existing building, after thorough analysis university officials realized that for about the same amount of money a new building could be constructed. As a result, the student health service will avoid the disruption of having to relocate to temporary space during construction.

Construction of the $9 million facility, which is expected to begin no later than July 2001, will result in no net effect on parking. Every effort will be made to minimize inconveniences caused by construction activity, Friedman said. Parking will be restored on the site of the existing building after it is demolished.

The health service has been working with housing services and residential education officials to ensure that the environment of the nearby Cowell cluster residences is not adversely affected, Friedman said. The new facility will be at least 100 feet from the cluster buildings and will face away from the cluster, toward Campus Drive and Cowell Lane.

"I am happy that we will remain at the same location on Campus Drive, which students say is convenient for them," Friedman said.

Cowell Student Health Service is made up three units: Medical Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Health Promotion Services.

Medical Services provides 25,000 patient care visits a year, while Counseling and Psychological Services provides more than 7,000 counseling visits a year.

For more information about the student health service, visit



© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use  |  Copyright Complaints