EUGENE, Ore. — Construction for the University of Oregon’s student union building is officially under way.
After years of planning, people involved with the project are very excited to actually see some changes being made.
In phase one of the project, a wing of the building will be demolished and rebuilt into a new craft center.
The wing used to hold offices of all the multicultural student groups on campus. Over winter break, those offices moved. They’re temporarily located where “The Break” billiards room used to be, which is one part of the EMU not returning once the project is complete.
People who’ve been planning the project say changes have been a long time coming.
“It was basically two solid years of planning,” said Adreanna Mart, a recent UO graduate who works at the EMU.
‘It’s incredibly exciting and relieving to see the construction process begin,” said Miles Sisk, EMU Board of Directors member.
The $95 million project will give a whole new look to the EMU, which is more than 60 years old. It’s being paid for primarily through student fees. Staff and students say the building needs work.
“I see people every day, and it’s very hard for them to…find places,” said Ryan Chau, EMU Board of Directors member. “It’s not very easy to navigate.”
The university says the EMU was originally built for about 8,000 fewer students than the number currently enrolled. The project will add about 80-thousand square feet of space and renovate more than 130-thousand square feet.
“It’s exciting because my brother will be here in three years, so I look forward to him telling me how cool the student union is,” Mart said.
The project is expected to wrap up fall of 2016 and will hopefully bring with it a new feel to the heart of campus.
“I believe that a newly renovated EMU will re-vamp that and bring students back to the center of campus and bring activity back to the university right here at the EMU,” Sisk said.