The Health and Public Affairs Building I, commonly known as HPA I, is home to the College of Health and Public Affairs and the departments of Criminal Justice, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health Management and Informatics, Health Professions, Legal Studies, Public Administration, Public Affairs, and Social Work. The College of Health and Public Affairs was established in 1990, and enrollment went from 1600 students to 5000 students with faculty increasing from 60 to 120, resulting in the need to construct a building to house the departments and the students. Construction broke ground on May 13, 1997 and was completed in fall of 1998.
At the completion of HPA in 1998, the college accepted its first doctoral students for a Ph.D. in Public Affairs. The $9.8 million facility with 92,000 square feet and a 3-story atrium is located on the northeast end of campus in between Classroom Building I and Engineering Building 2. According to the Institutional Research Factbook in 2009, enrollment went from 5,000 students in 1998 to 6,500 students with the completion of HPA. Therefore after the construction of HPA a second attachment to the building, known as HPA II, was constructed to alleviate student overcrowding.