Phase 2 to be complete by late fall

construction

The Lion’s Roar / William Schmidt
Construction workers continue to upgrade the union which is currently causing closure to some of the pathways and student parking lots as seen above. Construction of Phase Two is currently underway and will continue until the latter part of 2014.

The spring of 2012 marked the start of the expansion and renovation project of the Student Union, which is in the midst of Phase 2. 

Construction for the union has been broken up into multiple phases and currently, “the majority of the pre-existing union is being gutted for redesign and construction,” according to Kenneth Howe, director of Facility Planning. 

Phase 2 is set to finish later this fall with the completion of new areas for Student Affairs, a series of conference meeting rooms replacing the old ballroom and a larger space for the University Bookstore. 

“I anticipate seeing a bigger bookstore,” said senior communication major, I’tyonnie Jackson. 

The mall pathway closure has bothered many people on campus, but with the completion of Phase 2, students will again have access to walk through the mall. 

“The construction completely cuts off paths making it take more time to get to class. Plus, it takes up a lot of the front parking lots where there used to be easy, open spots for me as a commuter,” said senior math major, Joel Caronna. “It was one of those [parking lots] that were easy to get in and get out of, and now I have to go park far away.”

Some students believe only areas currently under construction should be blocked.

“They have too many parts of campus blocked off instead of focusing on one part at a time,” said integrated science and technology graduate student Kevin Kraus. “[They need to] not fence off everywhere. Only fence off where they are working, working with students rather than just blocking them off.”

While the issues of parking and pathway closures cause an inconvenience, other students are still looking forward to the end of construction for more than just open pathways. 

“I am in favor of the construction because it seems like it is going to make our campus look better and bigger,” said Jackson. 

Some incoming freshmen as well as transfer students were not aware of why all the construction was taking place but became excited when they learned of what was going on with the union. 

“I didn’t really know what it [construction] was. I never really asked anyone what it was,” said freshman psychology major Hayden Kimball. “Now that I know what it is, I can’t wait to see how it looks. I feel like it is real refreshing to see something new. Seeing this new union compared to when I toured a couple years ago was real refreshing to.”

Phase 3 will begin in the latter part of 2014 with the “demoing [of] the existing bookstore and game room areas and the building out spaces for the Student Excellence Center, Health Center Unit and Counseling Center,” said Howe.

Phase 3 is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015.