Mount Saint Mary’s newest project, the proposed Wellness Pavilion on the Chalon Campus, has just entered the first stage of the public hearing process in the City of Los Angeles. Over the next several months, the University will work together with elected officials and community members as it moves through the city’s approval process.
The idea of a Wellness Pavilion was born out of the Mount Wellness movement that began four years ago. At that time, Mount Saint Mary’s conducted a health assessment and discovered that two thirds of students entering the Mount reported feeling unhealthy. In response, the University created a campus-wide wellness movement that focused on four key areas: Eat Green, De-Stress, Sleep Well and Move More. It implemented creative programming and innovative fitness classes and started new initiatives like a free Farmer’s Market and Peer Wellness Advocates. But the University knew it needed to do more. It needed to provide students with proper facilities dedicated to overall health and wellness.
The first major construction project planned for the Chalon campus in 30 years, the Wellness Pavilion will replace the current, outdated fitness center and provide a comprehensive exercise and wellness space for students. The University believes in the importance of a holistic approach to education – mind, body and spirit; the Pavilion will ensure that the students have the equipment, spaces and programs they need to achieve it.
When completed, the Wellness Pavilion will be the cornerstone for all healthy living initiatives at the Mount. While previous wellness movement activities taught students about healthy eating, reducing stress, and the importance of good sleep, the Wellness Pavilion will inspire students to move more by providing access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with basketball and volleyball courts, exercise studios and a pool, all within the footprint of the original fitness facilities. It will also include spaces to learn about healthy living. Students will be able to meet individually with Peer Wellness Advocates, as well as with students in the doctoral physical therapy program, to discuss their health goals.
With more than half of Mount students graduating with degrees in health sciences, giving them tools for a healthy life balance not only improves their lives but may also affect the lives of their future patients as they impart their healthy-habits tips to those in their care. “Health, wellness and caring for others have always been at the core of what we do,” says Alison Halpern, wellness manager. “Now, more than ever, it is important that we give our students the means to lead healthy, resilient lives. They deserve no less.”
By 2025, the goal is for at least two-thirds of Mount Saint Mary’s students to feel healthy by the time they graduate. The wellness movement provides the framework for healthy living, but the Wellness Pavilion is the key component to adopting a lifestyle that will positively impact all aspects of a student’s well-being.
“We believe that the wellness center is absolutely essential to our students’ health, wellness and academic success,” says Mark Spellmire, director, sports and wellness. “This facility will be a game changer for our students as they prepare to become healthy healthcare providers and role models in their careers and communities.”