Bright and inviting, the Student Life and Wellness Building creates a new hub on campus
With the new Student Life and Wellness Building that opened its doors in February, Bryn Mawr has created a welcoming space for students that brings together three key centers to create a synergy that redefines wellness for the community.
“This project began with the need to build a center for health and wellness that is inviting and accessible,” says Dean of the Undergraduate College Jennifer Walters. “The new building makes it possible for us to advance a concept of wellness that includes learning how to take care of yourself and communities that are important to you. Locating the Pensby Center for Community Development and Inclusion and the Career & Civic Engagement Center with health and wellness services and programs creates opportunities for innovation and collaboration in student life.”
Visitors to the 21,000-square-foot building, which is located between Erdman Hall and Helfarian, are first met with a glass-enclosed entryway that leads to the main lobby. There, they pass a calming “water wall” as they make their way to a central information desk flanked by a common area of sofas and chairs on one side and offices on the other. The first floor is home to the Career & Civic Engagement Center and the Pensby Center for Community Development and Inclusion. Wide, inviting stairs lead to the second-floor home of the Health and Wellness Center.
Among the highlights of the new space for the Career & Civic Engagement Center are three dedicated interview/meeting rooms and a community room that will be outfitted with all the necessary technology for students to meet with employers and community partners and to engage with guests from around the world. The new Health Center has six exam rooms, and the Counseling Center has 10 rooms for students to meet with counselors. For the Pensby Center, the new space means a much more central location on campus (it was previously located on Cambrian Row) and brings a dramatic increase in common areas for student programming and support.
The building is home to halal and kosher kitchens, a prayer room with a foot-washing station, and a multicultural living room.
“We didn’t get a lot of foot traffic out on Cambrian Row, and already, just by being in this location, the foot traffic has increased tremendously,” says Pensby Center Director A.T. Ortíz. “It’s also communicating to students the importance of recognizing how wellness and well-being connects to anti-racism, belonging, and identity.”