Union construction to block path, force alternate routes
Senior guard Brandon Fortenberry attempts a layup over Millsaps defender A.J. Leaks. Fortenberry led both teams with 16 points. Ryne Berthelot
Due to the continuance of the Student Union Expansion Project, the War Memorial Student Union Mall area will be closed beginning Feb. 14 as Phase II of construction begins.
The closure involves the renovation of the current Student Union building including the relocation of the University Bookstore to the current Lion's Den. The mall will reopen after Phase II renovations are complete. Completion is projected for late 2014.
While Subway and Popeyes will remain accessible, students will have to take an alternate route to get there. The entrance to Starbucks will be unaffected by the closure.
Several efforts have been made to inform students of the closure and to prepare them for changes in their daily class routes.
"The university has provided ample notification regarding the closure through signage, emails, the university website and via social media," said Robin Parker, director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for Auxiliary Services. "The two routes that can be used during the closure [including] North Oak Street on the east side and the sidewalks between Twelve Oaks and Pottle Hall on the west side, should not result in any on-campus pedestrian delays."
Some students think the route change will be a major inconvenience.
"I feel that the detour of the new union is a big deal," said Devonte Bryant, senior marketing major. "I understand that it needs to be done, but it has also forced students to be in more of a hurry. For example, I have to go to all of my classes before I can eat because I never have enough time to get lunch. It's a real hassle. I'll be glad when it's all completed."
Other students are unaffected by the route change.
"I only have one class on that side of campus, so it won't really affect me," said Kailee Leblanc, junior kinesiology major. "I do think it will inconvenience everybody who has classes over there though. The same flow of students that used to go through the union or take the front sidewalk will now be forced to take the sidewalk in front of Fayard [Hall]. It will probably take longer for everybody to get to class, so hopefully the construction doesn't take too long."
Students have already begun preparations for the route change and are predicting more problems.
"I am not too concerned with walking a little bit further because I have already mapped out my new route, but I am concerned about closing the main artery through campus," said Jacob Currier, senior history major. "I don't know how other students' new routes will impact mine. None of the alternate routes are as big as the union's walkways. I predict a large mess. It would not be as bad if the construction staging area was not right behind the union."
Students can find details about the plans for the union renovation at www.southeastern.edu/admin/stu_union/ren/index.html or by contacting Parker through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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