“In 2008, when I graduated and they were talking about ‘remodeling’ the student center, I expected it to be a new coat of paint and some redecorating, but wow…I don’t recognize the building at all from what I remember of it…Quite an amazing space for students – far beyond cool – even stellar perhaps.” Rave reviews are coming from users who matter most – the students. Another comment: “It’s a lot bigger, brighter, and much more study-oriented and student-oriented than the old one was.” Renovation of the 25-year-old student center completely changed the building’s character – from a dark place into one that is light, bright, and cheerful. Students are especially delighted with the variety of dining venues – from the new hearth-style oven for baking fresh pizzas, to the main dining venue that was transformed from a large cafeteria to an area where traditional tables have been replaced with rounded booths and high-top tables. The area also features a fireplace, a small stage, and a dance floor.
A major focus of the renovation was sustainability where materials from the existing student center were reused. Old bowling lanes were made into tables; a new wood dance floor was fashioned from reclaimed oak. Exterior columns and a wall in two expanded entrances were constructed from sandstone mined at a local quarry that was reopened to provide stone for the new construction.