First steps toward the EMU renovation begin during winter term

With blueprints and sledgehammers in hand, construction workers have begun the long process of renovating the Erb Memorial Union, which is expected to be completed by June 2016, according to the EMU website.

“Right now we’re going into the first phase of the renovation process,” said ASUO Senator and EMU Board member Miles Sisk. “The first phase of construction deals with moving the craft center over to where the computer lab and student union offices are.”

The new craft center will begin construction during the second week of January, but before then, the student union offices and computer labs that were once there need to move to temporary locations. Student programs such as the Arab Student Union, LGBTQA and Jewish Student Union will be moving into the basement floor of the EMU, where The Break used to be.

“We’ve moved all of the programs that were in the construction pass during winter break,” said Dan Geiger, the EMU renovation manager. “All student unions have been moved into The Break, and we’ve created office spaces for them to continue their work.”

Eleven student programs will be moving into The Break and call that area their new home until the end of spring term. The EMU computer labs will relocate to Knight Library.

Outside of constructing the new craft center, Geiger said the next big objective in phase one is relocating 14 programs to McArthur Court by the end of winter term.

“What’s on the horizon now is preparing McArthur Court for the programs that will relocate there, and that’s a pretty major part of the project,” Geiger said. “We’re getting ready to set up temporary offices in McArthur Court right now. All of the offices that are in the ‘70s part of the EMU will packing up their things and moving there.”

Among the programs moving to McArthur Court are the ASUO, Club Sports, EMU Marketing Center and the EMU Ticketing Office.

If all goes according to plan, Geiger said that phase one of the EMU renovation should end in May and transition seamlessly into phase two of the project, which is demolishing the part of the EMU from the 1970s in favor of building more technologically advanced accommodations for students. Phase three will begin in March of 2015, and will have the same objectives as phase two, except it will be working on the section of the EMU from the 1950s.

Even though it’s just the early stages of the renovation process, Geiger said that everything is still on schedule and going as planned.

“We haven’t run into anything that’s been too much of a problem yet,” Geiger said. “The key to doing such a monumental project like this is to always plan 20 steps ahead, while at the same time being prepared for the curveball.”


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