Projects on schedule for August

By Heidi Kroinaizl

Construction on Jackrabbit Grove and The Union expansion remains on schedule to be completed for the 2013-2014 school year, just in time to serve students in the fall. 

Jackrabbit Grove construction began last spring and the four new residence halls are expected to be finished by the end of July. The Northeast and Southwest buildings are further along in construction but that’s by design, according to Residential Life Director Jeff Hale. While the Honors and Southeast halls are somewhat behind in the building processes, they are still on schedule. Despite the long winter weather that descended on Brookings, it has had little effect on construction. 

Few changes have been made to the residence halls’ plans. 

“What we’ve done since then (December) is selection of colors for decor and some of the mechanical selections had to be adjusted from original design,” Hale said.

Official names for the four new buildings are still to be announced as well.

“They are currently with the naming committee,” Hale said. “My understanding is that the submittals will go before the board in May.” 

Second-year returning students already have their placements in the new residence halls, and first-year students’ room assignments are scheduled to be sent out April 30.

“We are excited,” Hale said. “We think, obviously, for the university to be able to open new residential facilities is an amazing opportunity for the university to provide another educational experience for students. It again reinforces the importance of living on campus in the first two years.”

The Union addition, adding 14,000 square feet of offices, three new restaurants, 350 dining seats and lounge space, is expected to be completed and functioning by August. 

“We’ve changed quite a bit of stuff around here,” said Assistant Director of The Union Keith Skogstad. “There’s unforeseen stuff you find.”

While the expansion is still under construction, the Main Street entrance still has yet to be enclosed, cloud-like light fixtures still need to be hung and a large hanging fireplace needs to be placed in the glass “round area.”

“We’re trying to find a new name [for the round area],” Skogstad said. “The contractor originally called it the Rotunda. One name that has been mentioned is the silo.”

Recent projects in the expansion have been putting up drywall and putting in windows. Seven stall bathrooms at the front of the expansion are tiled and are waiting for fixtures to be put in. Already intact are the exhaust hood for the Panda Express kitchen and the bakery’s walk-in cooler. 

With the relocation of the bakery, Extreme Pita and several offices moving from Medary Commons to The Union expansion, Medary Commons will be closed for remodel. To aid with the closing, Hansen Hall will receive a new food option of a C-Store and an Erbert and Gerbert’s sandwich shop.