Nov 082011
 
Authors: Erin Udell

A 50-year-old getting a facelift might sound odd to some, but for the Lory Student Center, which has served as CSU’s central hub for the past five decades, updates have been a long time coming.

As part of a master plan that has been years in the making, renovations to the LSC are moving along, which will cause a relocation of student center businesses and offices as early as spring 2013.

According to Mike Ellis, the executive director of the LSC and assistant vice president for student affairs, everything, besides the theatre renovation, is currently in a conceptual design phase with nothing finalized just yet.

“We are currently working with the architects to agree upon their contractual terms,” Ellis said. “Once that’s finalized, they will come back in January or February to continue their design process which will take approximately six months.”

In terms of covering the $65 million project price tag, most of the financial support is set to come from student fees and the LSC’s building reserve fund.

The initial plan was for the project’s student fees to start with the class of 2015, but with the recent approval of a bill in ASCSU that jumpstarted the renovation project, this fee will affect students one year earlier.

The bill also increased the fee, raising it 72 percent from $97 to $167 — a cost shouldered by students for the next 30 years.

Renovations will begin in fall 2012 and overhaul almost everything south of the transit center. Included in the master update plan is a 6,000-square-foot expansion of the main ballroom, extension of the main-level food court and restoration of the buildings HVAC and infrastructure.

In order to cut costs by $4 million, construction will take place in one 18-month phase instead of the original 30 months. This will cause the relocation of LSC offices and businesses throughout the center around spring 2013 to make way for the structural changes.

“That includes a lot of support offices — offices students use on a daily basis,” said ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg. “But we’ll save millions of dollars and it’s going to get done quicker.”

“We’ll be getting more bang for our buck,” Berlinberg added. “That four million gets to be used someplace else.”

According to Ellis, LSC officials will meet individually with building occupants in developing the renovation relocation plan, which will be released at the end of the spring semester after the CSU Board of Governors meets in December to review the project’s finance plan.

While the plan will include a more sustainable design, as well as the multiple expansions and restorations, some students, like senior horticulture major Tyler Gettel, aren’t too excited about the update.

“I’m so sick of construction,” Gettel said. “What’s wrong with it now? If they had a good point, a real reason, then I’d understand, but what do they really need to improve?”

Senior business management major Brent Smith, echoed Gettel’s thoughts, adding that he’s skeptical because not everyone who has to deal with construction usually gets to benefit from the changes.

“There’s all this stuff going on, but us seniors are never going to be able to see it,” Smith said.

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com.

H3. LSC update facts

Total construction time: Spring 2013 to July 2014

Cost: $65 million

Cost to students(starting with class of 2014): $167 student fee

Major plans: Expansion of main ballroom and food court, restoration of building infrastructure, incorporation of sustainable design

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