Adding a micro-market to the busy LRC

Kat Klawes

The Learning Resources Center will never be the same.

Renovations are slated to be finished by Oct. 31st, 2015. Included are two new classrooms. Renovations to the Central and Upper Peninsula Archives, and a new on-campus dining location.

Dean of Academic Information Services Leslie Warren stated that the renovations include two classrooms  built on the first floor of the Learning Resources Center.

“These high-tech rooms will be used for many purposes, including general use classroom scheduling and distance education,” Warren said.

“The Central and Upper Peninsula and NMU Archives is being expanded and renovated to better serve students, researchers and staff,”  Warren said.

Jim Thams, the associate director of engineering/Planning and Grounds said the project includes renovating a portion of the former LRC Lounge area to create two new high-tech/distance learning classrooms.

“The other will become a small “Micro-mart” – a small store for students, faculty and staff.” Thams said.

The renovation is expected to increase traffic in the already busy area according to Dean Warren,

“More students will have courses in the new classrooms,” Warren said.

The Learning Resources Center is a very busy building that supports teaching, learning and community activity in many ways. In Sept. 2014, for example, the Olson Library gate count was 56,219. This number reflects the number of times someone entered the library,  Warren said.

The LRC currently houses everything from the Olson Library to Fieras.

Gavin Leach, vice president for finance administration and treasurer for the NMU Board of Trustees stated that the approval process for renovation projects  varies depending on the size and scope of the project.

“All projects such as this are documented in the University’s Five Year Facilities Plan and reported to the NMU Board of Trustees. Leach stated in an email. “The LRC classroom project was reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees at the July 2015 board meeting.”

The staple of the LRC renovation is the new on-campus dining location. According to Paul Schoonveld the Assistant Director of Dining Services, the new on-campus dining location will be a micro-market, named the Sundre-Snack & Supply Co.

“[It will offer] a premier grab-and-go salad, sandwich, and snack line that include better-for-you items as well as many fresh items. We also plan to offer a small variety of daily items such as cell phone chargers, stationery items, and other non-food items as well!” Schoonveld stated in an email.

“We will also offer a variety of packaged snacks from candy and sweets to savory snacks and everything in between, including coffee,” Schoonveld said.

The micro-market will be available to students with “a tentative opening date of January 11th, 2016, for the start of Winter Semester,” Shoonveld stated.

“It is a missing component to the offerings in the center of campus and we look forward to filling the need.”

Mary Glittenberg a sophomore sociology major said she is especially looking forward to the on-campus dining location.

“As a commuter it’s always nice to have more dining options since I travel enough already. Plus who doesn’t like variety in food, or food in general?” Glittenberg said.