Regents finalize two-part project
It’s been two years since students voted in favor of the University Center renovation, and recently the Board of Regents unanimously approved the 100,000-square-foot addition to finalize the decision.
Some students are unaware of the project, while others are concerned about what would happen to current stores and restaurants located in the UC — junior John Safley, a campus bookstore employee, being one of them.
“If they can do it unobtrusively then that’s fine,” Safley said. “If they are going to shut down everything, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
The new addition, which will be the home to the current stores, organizations and restaurants is set to be completed by May 2012. It will be adjacent to the building currently occupied by Lot 1E.
Campus organizations utilize the UC as a housing ground for their current promotions. Some students directly involved with these organizations are hesitant about what will happen to the area they use to promote events while this change occurs.
History sophomore Loren Wright uses the UC as a study place before and between classes, and said she feels the redesign will be a great addition to the campus despite the longevity of the reconstruction.
“Even though it doesn’t affect us,” Wright said, “It’s still awesome to think that future generations will benefit from the change.”
Joseph Anaya, an engineering freshman, is one of many students looking forward to having a larger UC, simply to cater to the size of our school.
“I think it will be better and there will be more space available,” Anaya said. “I hope whoever designs it does a good job.”
The new facility is one of two planned phases; phase one includes a theater and a meeting space. Phase two involves renovating the current building once all the outlets move into the new one.
The regents budgeted the project at $44.2 million.
Regent Welcome Wilson, Sr. is among the faculty and staff who support the project.
“I think we are doing it just right,” Wilson said. “First, build the extra space we need, and then tackle the sticky, expensive, slow part of refurbishing the old building.”