Union expansion to add 350 seats, new dining areas

Billie Jo Kubat

Billie Jo Kubat

Another construction area was set up northwest of The Union last week in preparation for the upcoming Union expansion.

As part of the preparations, a fence, that blocks one of The Union’s entrances and part of the NFA parking lot, was put up around the northwest corner of the building.

Last year, The Union went under review, and it was found that The Union was short on space and the food services had reached its max on its ability to serve students, said Jennifer Novotny, director of The Union. Novotny said there will be an increase of 350 seats in The Union and that construction should be completed Oct. 1, 2010.

“The Union will add two new eating establishments, an extension on the Campanile Room, and will put the new Bummobile on display,” said Dean Kattelmann, vice president of facilities and services.

The construction should not have any effect on dining areas this year. However, during the construction, The Union will lose four meeting rooms, said Novotny.

The construction has been set to start at different times to help make the impact on students as minimal as possible.

According to Novotny, ARAMARK Foods provided $3 million for The Union construction and the University Food Services Account provided an additional $3.2 million for the expansion.

“Peska Construction Company from Sioux Falls contracted to do the construction at The Union,” said Keith Skogstad, assistant director of The Union. “With the weather being so bad, the construction has been slow, but hopefully the weather will be better next week, and work will start big next week.”

“I think it’s a good thing. The school needs to keep up with renovations to keep up with demands,” said Peter Noding, a sophomore general agriculture major and the representative for Hansen Hall for UFSAC, a group that evaluates campus dining.

With the new renovations, The Union should be able to handle the flows of traffic better, said Noding.

This new renovation should give The Union a better community atmosphere, said Noding. He said he believes that the construction was a timely decision.

“The remodeling of (Larson Commons) made the place seem friendlier. I hope that The Union will be like that remodel,” said Noding.

Next fall, the university will add a late night and sports grill type of eating establishment, said Novotny. Also, Novotny said that an Einstein Bros. Bagels will be added to the dining choices. The new bagel place will offer choices of healthy foods that are not currently being offered.

#1.881353:3210080868.jpg:16.1.jpg:Sidewalks and trees are being removed west of The Union in preparation for a new expansion to the building.:Ryan Robinson