UC prepares for facelift

Due+to+renovations%2C+the+bookstore+is+cleared+out+and+relocated+to+the+Peter+White+Lounge+in+the+University+Center+and+West+Hall.+Clothing+and+merchandise+is+in+the+Peter+White+Lounge+and+textbooks+are+in+West+Hall.%0APhoto+by%3A+Emma+Case

Due to renovations, the bookstore is cleared out and relocated to the Peter White Lounge in the University Center and West Hall. Clothing and merchandise is in the Peter White Lounge and textbooks are in West Hall. Photo by: Emma Case

Jamie Glenn

Preparations are underway for a $19.5 Million renovation to the University Center, the first in 24 years.

The renovation is in its early stages, and respective faculty members have been planning and gathering feedback from students has been ongoing for year, said project manager Jim Thams.

“We’ve been working on the programming for this over the last two years. Last year there were a number of forums, also we did a number of online surveys for students. They would give us input on the types of things we’re proposing and the types of things they’d like to see. There’s been a lot of outreach to students.”

Both the interior and exterior of the building will undergo renovations. The university is aiming to create an open activity bar for students that includes a variety of seating areas, a foosball and pool tables, an electronic gaming station, a stage for entertainment and a full restaurant.

“I think we’re in a very good place in terms of the design of the building. Not only are we renovating the interior of the facility, but the exterior of the facility is getting an upgrade as well,” Thams said. “It will create an iconic entrance to the east part of campus. We’re preparing for construction.”

A number of offices are in the middle of relocating to the construction. Barnes and Noble College Store Manager Paul Wright explained what the moving process has been like for their staff as they distribute between two locations.

“We’ve been working on our move for a little over two weeks now. It’s a little more complicated because we’re in two places for the next year, as part of our temporary locations. The former Peter White Lounge is where our clothing, school supplies and gifts are going to be. Wright said. In West Hall, the former residence hall, we have a textbook store setup, Students will need to go to one place or the other to get exactly what they need.”

Various offices are going to be relocated at different times throughout the next several weeks. The North Wind has relocated to 301 Gries Hall and the Center for Student Enrichment is also expected to relocate soon.

“Everything we do in the store we had to think about and plan, for the temporary locations. It’s going to be a good challenge, we’ll make it all work. As long as students know where we are, that we’re in Peter White Lounge and West Hall for textbooks, everything should go pretty smoothly,” Wright said.

Construction for the project is beginning in May and is projected to be completed in August of 2019.