With the blow of a whistle from the Hybl family and officials from UCCS, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and Centura Health, and the City of Colorado Springs, the final piece of structural steel was ceremonially put into place at the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center July 31.
“We’re celebrating progress on this building, on this City for Champions initiative and on our work to transform the future workforce of Colorado,” said Chancellor Venkat Reddy during the ceremony. “We are celebrating this this building will be a center created with the community, and for the community.
“The Hybl Center is designed to work like the best science research labs in the world,” he continued. “It will act like a crossroads. It will facilitate collaboration between faculty, students and health care providers. It will allow them to form nimble, highly effective teams. Innovation will happen here.”
Crews from Pioneer Steel Inc., working under general contractor J.E. Dunn, raised and installed the final piece of steel, signed by construction crews and individuals from UCCS and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and Centura Health. A tree strapped to the beam, to symbolize the origins of the ceremony from 700 A.D., will be planted near the facility. A gold hard hat was then presented to William Hybl, the namesake for the center.
“This truly is transformational, to the community, to the state, to the region, and I believe, to the nation,” Hybl said
The 104,000-square football Hybl Center will be the first of its kind to integrate undergraduate and graduate education with clinical practice and research in a sports medicine and performance environment. Up to 1,400 students within the new Human Physiology and Nutrition Department will study in the center while more than 400 people will visit the clinics operated by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and Centura Health.
“This building and the programs within it will utilize abundant resources in our community – our altitude and topography, our myriad military neighbors, our sports and sports economy, and our community’s love affair with the outdoors – to create a world-class destination for elite athletes, for amateur athletes, for occupational athletes, and for individuals who simply desire to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle,” said Bill Lueck, executive director director of strategy and sports medicine and co-executive director of the Hybl Center for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and Centura Health.
“Good healthcare is a collaboration,” said Kevin Laudner, dean of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “A collaboration between doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists and other specialists, and of course the patient. Everyone in this collaboration must share the same vision to be effective. And the collaboration that has occurred in order to develop this center is a perfect example of what is possible when you work together on a shared vision.”
Construction remains on budget and on schedule for the opening of clinics in April 2020. The project received supplemental funding from the Regional Tourism Act of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade through the City for Champions initiative.
“With state-of-the-art clinical, instructional and research facilities, combined with a unique design that will bring the center’s clinicians, faculty and students together, we anticipate the Hybl Center will provide the structural foundation for new and excited programs of interdisciplinary research, as well as interprofessional education and clinical services,” said Steve Johnson, professor of health sciences and co-executive director of the Hybl Center for UCCS.
–Photos by Bradley Benedetti and Tom Kimmell