Using a $12 million dollar bond, Facilities plans to renovate two buildings on campus. $7 million of the $12 million will go towards updating the Mortensen Library, and the remaining $5 million will go towards updating Gengras Student Union. However, plans on Gengras Student Union are not finalized.
“We’re in planning mode right now,” said Norman Young, the Associate Vice President of Facilities, in charge of Planning and Management, “the library, three years ago went through this planning process of what is it that we’re going to do. That’s where we are in Gengras right now.”
Facilities has hired an architectural firm to help with this planning process, which will involve talking to students, faculty and staff on what changes and improvements they would like to see occur to the Student Union. This planning process will continue throughout the fall semester. In addition to major upgrades, other smaller updates to the building’s mechanics will be made.
“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.”
Young says that Facilities hopes to have an idea of what the final plan for the Student Union will be in January.
“[In January], I want to have a plan in place and then start to develop whatever the project is going to be during the spring months. It takes quite some time to really design everything, bring in contractors and have them price it all up, get your final approvals, go get your permits, get all of your subcontractors in place. A lot of time has to go into that.”
Young wants all of the planning to be finished in the spring semester so that construction can begin during the summer. Due to Gengras’ busy nature, the summer is the only time the building is empty enough to actual do the necessary construction.
We will provide updates an update to Facilities’ plan for Gengras Student Union during the upcoming spring semester.