Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Using $5 million of a part of a $12 million dollar bond, the University has begun plans to renovate the E. Clayton Gengras Family Student Union (GSU). A planning committee of students, administration and faculty recently completed the programming phase of the project. The current plans have met the approval of University President, Walter Harrison. A core schematics committee has begun work on presenting a final design to be considered by the Board of Regents Physical Plant committee in late April.
The S/L/A/M Collaborative has been hired as the architectural firm to help with the design phases of the process. This included a developing a survey completed by over 900 students in December. The survey collected information on what changes and improvements they would like to see occur to GSU. Top changes in no particular order follows below:
A top priority was the desire to have the building’s mechanical systems upgraded. From an earlier interview with STN 2 News, Associate Vice President of Facilities, Norman Young said, “What I can tell you is Gengras has a lot of mechanical issues,” says Young, “air conditioning, heating, things like that that need to be upgraded. There really hasn't been an upgrade since the building was built in the mid-sixties, so there's a lot of work that has to be done behind the scenes… It needs to be modernized."
The survey also yielded information on the desire for improved leisure and recreation space in GSU. Examples of comments recorded from the survey follows:
"I would like to see a better gaming area. Maybe an air hockey table addition in that downstairs area next to the Hungry Hawk station."
"Phone charging stations"
"Updated game room, or another game room with different activities."
"You should improve the hangout area in the bottom floor of GSU. More arcade games should be added. Dance Dance Revolution is excellent but I feel that there could be more."
A core committee is currently meeting as pet of the schematic phase of the project. The core and executive committees are still hopeful to begin phases of the project starting sometime this summer.
We will provide further updates regarding this project as they develop