The Lory Student Center will be renovating several areas of its building over the summer of 2003, in order to update the building and make it more efficient for students, said Michael Ellis, director of the student center.
“When you look at the role of the student center on campus, we are addressing some needs of the community,” Ellis said. “These are the critical areas that have been on our repair and renovation plan for several years.”
The planned renovations include the food court, the CSU Bookstore’s upper level and the Cherokee Park, North Ballroom and University Club on the student center’s second floor.
The Executive Budget Committee has passed the project and the Associated Students of CSU has given its support to the project.
However, the Board of Governors of the CSU System will have the final say in determining whether the project occurs when the proposal is presented in early December.
Project costs are estimated at $4.5 million and the majority of funding will come from a refinanced bond extension from 1992 at a lower rate. There will not be an increase in student fees to complete the project, Ellis said.
“The drop in refinancing rates are significant,” he said. “That’s why we’re able to do the project without any increase in student fees.”
Currently, the student center receives less than 14 percent of its revenue from student fees. The rest of the student center’s income is self-generated.
“I think all the members of the EBC are very supportive of the proposal,” said Gerry Bomotti, vice president for Administrative Services and a member of the EBC. “I think it’s a very solid proposal. I think this will help a great deal in helping students.”
The food court renovation will be an opportunity to improve the look of the facility, as well as improve its efficiency, Ellis said.
There will be three additional food opportunities, and there will also be individual company facilities, instead of a common kitchen. Each provider will also handle money independently, rather than sharing registers as they currently do.
“It gives more variety and more contemporary choices,” Ellis said. “I think our staff has done a great job using what is an outdated facility. Given we experience a financial loss in the food court, I would see increased funds for the student center (in the future).”
The choices for the new companies at the food court will be investigated in a campus-wide survey (see related story).
The food court will also experience expanded seating when the renovation occurs. At least 225 new seats will be added to the food court. This will result in the removal of several meeting rooms and the student center Marketing office from the south side of the food court.
To account for this loss, Rambouillet will be turned into new meeting rooms and the new home for the Marketing office. This is possible because Rambouillet has been losing money since it opened, Ellis said.
Ken DeVault, retail operations manager for Lory Student Center Dining Services, believes the changes will make the food court a popular place on campus.
“It’s going to be the place to be,” DeVault said. “The whole design will make (the food court) faster and more convenient for everybody who comes.”
By removing a barrier and expanding the upper level entrance, the bookstore renovation will improve store visibility. The project will also increase the bookstore’s lighting and will change its color scheme to add more green and gold.
“We feel that that main entrance is not the most friendly entrance,” said John Parry, director of the bookstore. “We want to change look of it so it’s a cleaner flow.”
Other renovations under consideration for the bookstore would be to remove a wall inside to create a better store flow, add another workspace and add fitting rooms for clothing shoppers.
“We wanted to improve circulation within the bookstore,” Ellis said.
Cherokee Park, North Ballroom, University Club
The Cherokee Park, North Ballroom and University Club renovations will be primarily to improve the facilities’ quality. There will be architectural, mechanical and electrical upgrades to the ballrooms, as well as a ceiling height increase for the Cherokee Park Ballroom. There will also be an asbestos reduction.
Room dividers will also be added to the North Ballroom to facilitate more flexibility for the existing rooms.
These upgrades are necessary because the Cherokee Park and North Ballrooms have not experienced a renovation since 1968, Ellis said.
Dining options will be added to the University Club due to the loss of Rambouillet.
Beth Tucker, chair of the Student Center Governing Board, believes the renovation project demonstrates the student center’s commitment to CSU students and faculty.
“It’s a great idea because it really shows the administration is listening to what the students want on campus,” Tucker said. “It shows that they’re looking outside of the box to make sure that student needs are met effectively and efficiently.”