Union expansion plans come closer to being finalized


Heather Mangen

Expansion plans for the University Student Union are closer to being finalized. Part of construction will begin Friday.

Full construction will begin in May and will force every office currently located in the union to move to new locations. Only the bookstore will stay put.

“If we have a bigger, better union, it will attract more people,” said Kayte Peters, graduate assistant for the University Student Union Operation.

The Market in the USU will close at 3 p.m. Friday. It will not reopen until Jan. 7. The ceiling in The Market will be replaced because of problems with asbestos.

This is the first step in the union expansion said Kathy Lusk, director of the Department of Student Union and Activities.

The entire union will close in May. However, Eric Erickson, president of the Students’ Association, said that construction would begin in March. He said it would not be a disruption because workers will only work on the addition to the union.

Construction should be done in March 2005 said Erickson.

Lusk said the expansion is still in its planning stages. Although most of the architectural plans are worked out, carpets, furniture and paints for the offices are currently being picked out.

Lusk said that students are involved in picking out furniture and arranging it for their own offices.

All the offices in the union and The Market will move to new locations in May.

Everyone, including lower level offices like KSDJ and the Collegian, must move out even though construction is only being done on the upper level of the union.

However, the University Bookstore will remain in its current location throughout construction.

Lusk said two or three alternative dining places would be opened as a temporary replacement for The Market.

However, she could not say the location of the dining services at this time.

The Student Union Activities office, Card Service, SA office, Outback Jacks, and the University Program Council office will be relocated to the United Campus Ministries building.

KSDJ and the Collegian will move to the basement of Mathews Hall.

Kayte Peters, graduate assistant for the University Student Union Operation said the temporary move would be especially hard on Outback Jacks.

Because of limited space, they cannot take all of their indoor equipment with them.

Their pool tables, video games and other items will stay in the union basement during construction.

Peters said Outback Jacks would have to focus on their designing services.

“[The move] may let students forget about what we have down here for indoor equipment” said Peters.

Even though not much will change in the union basement, Peters said the final product would help Outback Jacks.

Lusk said that the student organizations have been very cooperative with the union expansion project.

“They know what they are getting in the end,” she said.

In the spring, pictures and models of the new union will be in the breezeway for students to view said Lusk.

#1.886559:2710980318.jpg:union.jpg:An artist´s rendering shows what the University Student Union´s southeast entrance will look like by night after the expansion.:courtesy photo