Spring Gala 2022: New Health Center


Shylee Saladi, Editor-in-Chief

    A project put into motion by Head of School Jose De Jesús and his desire “to bring together both physical and physiologic health in one space” has brought about the Gala 2022 project: the new Health Center.

    When the Board of Trustees approved the proposal for a Health Center on-campus, it was a no-brainer that it was going to be the next Gala project. The Health Center will be a 1.4 million dollar project with almost all of the funds coming from the Gala, held in April 2022, going towards the repurposing of the 4,500 square feet space in the lower level of New Hall. De Jesús is hopeful that the renovation will be completed during the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

A mix of alumns, parents, faculty and Board of Trustee members gather in lower Reid for the Gala dinner in 2019.

    Anna Kliner, Director of Health Services, was hired during the beginning of the pandemic in order to ensure the safety of the LFA community. As she used her expertise, she also increased the number of people on her team, which resulted in a need for more space than just the Health Services hallway in Upper Reid. This space will be “completely funded through philanthropy, through gifts from parents, alumni, alumni parents, members of the board of trustees” said Vice President of Advancement, Dr. Robert Buckla. 

      Even though this process has been in the works for a while, the pandemic really pushed the project forward as the urgency for more care and more services increased. The purpose of this new Health Center will be to expand the services offered at LFA, including dermatologists, gynecologists, psychiatrists, etc, as well as 24-hour nursing care to LFA students and faculty. This is such an improvement to LFA because there has never been the ability to receive extra services, especially for international boarding students. In this new space, LFA hopes to offer group therapy and a relaxing lounge area that is both de-stressing and calming. The hope for this new center is to be a more physically-accessible space as well as a larger space that is more inviting for the students than the small hall in upper Reid. One of the goals that LFA’s administration had is to start decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health at school, this is a great way to show how our school is doing that. Many students on campus will benefit from having 24-hour nursing care as well as a more accessible space for therapy. 

    There are plans for at least four resting rooms for day and boarding students to use, which is a much-needed improvement from the two resting rooms that are currently available. There will also be a brand new lab space in order to do in-house testing instead of sending samples to outside labs. In addition to these new plans, there will be a wellness garden located outside of Lower New Hall. The wellness garden will be very different from the formal gardens as it will just be a small peaceful space right outside the Health Center for students and faculty to destress.

    The larger space will be incredibly useful because there won’t be any congestion at the entrance of the nurses’ door or throughout the small hallway in upper Reid. Although the athletic trainers will stay in Crown, the larger space will allow for the trainers to come and help with corporal injuries. Kliner said that “the goal is to be able to expand our collaboration with them [athletic trainers], especially because during the school day, their hours are a little different and for muscular, skeletal injuries, it makes a lot more sense for them to see students.”

    Buckla also explicitly said that “none of the improvements of campus facilities is getting paid for by tuition” but solely by donations to the school. Philanthropy is how LFA continues to change and improve with the times as more and more students come through the doors every year and everyone who’s part of the community will be able to fully utilize these much needed resources in a larger space.