USC Upstate is a rapidly growing member of the University of South Carolina system. One of the signs of that growth to over 5,000 students is USCU’s first large project in several years, the health education center. This 145,000 sq. ft. multipurpose facility provides new offices and classrooms for the colleges of nursing and education. It also includes the campus’s first wellness center, new admissions offices, financial aid offices and a new campus bookstore. Boldt won a public bid to construct the building, which began as a dirt field.
The instructional part of the building includes:
- Twenty new classrooms and teaching labs
- Two auditorium classrooms
- 11,000 sq. ft. of student nursing labs for clinical experience in simulated hospital, clinic and home-based nursing care
- Informal gathering spaces designed to extend learning beyond the classroom and laboratory
The office areas include:
- 33,000 sq. ft. of faculty, staff, admissions and deans’ offices
- Modular wall offices for easy reconfiguration of spaces for future needs
- New campus bookstore with retail display areas for USCU clothing and branded merchandise, plus books, computers and other learning tools
The wellness center offers 24-hour exercise facilities, including:
- Eight lane competition swimming pool with full locker facilities
- 200-yard indoor running track on a cantilevered mezzanine
- Two basketball and volleyball courts
- Two racquetball courts
- Multiple areas for aerobics, exercise equipment and weight machines
- Space for a future climbing wall
- Energy savings are estimated to provide annual savings of approximately 10.5 percent above conventional design and construction. Key strategies to achieve the reduced levels of energy consumption include the use of high performing mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
- On site bike storage and showers/changing facilities
- Water efficient plumbing fixtures will be installed throughout the new facility providing an estimated yearly potable water savings of 20 percent.
- The site has controlled light pollution by utilizing dark skies compliant lighting and locating parking and site lighting fixtures such that nearly zero light trespasses across property lines.
- The facility will utilize low mercury fluorescent lamps.
- During the construction of the facility, over 70 percent of the construction waste was sent to recycling centers and diverted from the landfill.
- The USC Upstate maintenance staff is highly trained on the systems it utilizes.
- The facility has employed a green cleaning strategy, which utilizes low ergonomic machines to clean the facility with green cleaning solutions and dispensing devices.
- The facilities building materials have an overall recycled content of approximately 10 percent.
- The facility will have 13 parking stalls for fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles. These preferred parking spaces provide a means for a hybrid vehicle to refuel.
- The health and wellness center building systems have undertaken a commissioning process that optimizes HVAC and electrical systems performance.