Rumors Of Student Union Renovation Delays Debunked

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As the Student Union construction is well underway, many around campus have been questioning its scheduled completion date.

However, Bradley Baker, director of the Ole Miss Student Union, said rumored delays are just that — rumors.

The new union is being constructed in three phases and timely completion of each is important Baker said.

“The first phase was kind of irrelevant for students,” Baker said. “Currently, we are going through the renovation of the existing building and that started right about the middle of January.”

The first phase has already been completed and the building is currently in the midst of phase two, which includes dining options.

“It is imperative that we open the food service component when school starts back. It will be chaotic, I can promise you that much.”

In addition to the food court, a McAllister’s Deli, a transit center and the Union Ballroom will also open in August of this year. Completion of the entire project is scheduled for January of 2019.

Though exciting changes are ahead, the union being under construction has created some grief among students.

“It has affected me a lot personally because I used to be in the union a lot. I used to eat in the union, do my homework in the union,” Rosa Salas, a sophomore art major, said.

Freshman IMC major Sarah Biedermann looks forward to the opening of the new student union.

Sarah Biedermann, a freshman integrated marketing communications major, misses the Starbucks the most because “now the Starbucks at the library is packed.”

Baker understands student’s frustrations, but believes it will all be worthwhile due to the Union nearly doubling in size to about 170,000 square feet.

“Personally, I’m excited about the ballroom. We have not had a space as big as that available for students and student organizations,” Baker said.

Salas is looking forward to the functionality of the new union, particularly the new meeting spaces that will be available.

“I’m very excited and I think it will look great. It’s not just about the union being bigger, but it’s going to be more functional,” Salas said.

Despite the positives, students still cannot wait for the construction to be over.

“Well, I think patience is worth anything,” Baker said.

“One it shows our commitment to our students. So we want to preach that patience, but we also understand those complications that may come along with it.“

According to Baker, “We want the building to be more than about food and more about a home. We want the students to realize that that’s their building, and hopefully they treat it well, but understand that it’s always there for them.”

Georgia Clarke gcclarke@go.olemiss.edu, Taylor Lewis tlbradf1@go.olemiss.edu