Update on the New University Center

Katy Swift, Staff Writer

With the semester quickly coming to an end, it’s important for the Millikin community to continue looking towards the future.

As most of the students and faculty know, Staley Library is going under construction next school year to become the new University Center. However, information about what the plan is for this center is not easily available to the student population. To help with that, there was a campus forum Thursday, March 19 with the architects to inform everyone about what lies ahead.

The first thing to know is that in order to ensure that there will be enough space in the new center, there will be a new section added to the front of the current building. While the architects plan on trying to make this new front door to the library match what current buildings on campus look like, they also want to give the center a look all its own to attract the community on campus.

Although the appearance of this University Center will be a main attraction of the building, what is put inside it is what will really count. For the students, a main interest is the dining options. The architects plan on having the basement level be completely devoted to dining services. They plan on splitting up this level into three sections with different atmospheres.

In one of these areas, there is going to be a stage with lighting permanently setup for performances. Another great aspect of this new dining area is that the school is going to incorporate a way for people to hang out with their friends in the dining area without having to pay. This should help with the university’s desire to have students use the new center as the main place to meet up with peers.

The other floors of the building will house most of what is currently seen in the library and RTUC. On the main level, there is going to be a leadership meeting area, the Center of International Education, and collaboration rooms. These collaboration rooms will be seen throughout the new University Center. For now, the school plans on incorporating technology in most of these rooms.

Going up to the second floor, there will be mainly compact shelving for the library, study areas, and the MAC Lab. While that floor may seem like it does not have much going into it, the third floor is going to be packed with different offices and rooms. The current plans show the third floor containing the Writing Center, the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, the Student Service Center, a banquet room that will double as a student lounge, and the president’s dining room. Most of these services are coming over from RTUC and are what is really going to transform the building from a library into the new University Center.

For those students who are concerned that their quiet space to study will be gone, there is no need to worry. The main area for hanging out is in the basement, and the fourth floor will be relatively the same as what the library has now if circumstances become dire.

This new center may seem like a far off dream, but the beginning of construction is going to approach quickly. The architects’ current schedule has the building construction beginning on February 22, 2016 and going until May 30, 2017.

Though most of the current students will not be here to experience the new building, they will be able to be proud of the school they left behind, and know that if they decide to return, the school will have improved for the better.