Reitz Union unveils its new look

Published: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:04 a.m.

The Reitz Union unveiled its renovated look Thursday in an open house that featured the student center's new lounge, which overlooks the Union Lawn.

About 12,000 students were invited to the open house, especially new students.

"We want to show off our renovations but also introduce new students to the Reitz," said Jeannie Starobin, Reitz Student Union associate director for administrative services,

Students were able to participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the union and take pictures with Albert and Alberta.

The most noticeable renovation involves the new lounge, furnished with couches, televisions and artwork.

"A union is supposed to be the living room of the campus," said Michael Mironack, the union's director of operationsd.

Other changes include a new information desk, expanded administrative offices, and new carpeting that was especially designed for the union.

"We wanted it to be a tasteful orange and blue, with a funky pattern," said Mironack.

The renovations cost $1.3 million, much of which came from the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, which is an accumulation of money from fees included in the price students pay per credit hour.

Erin Leonhardt, 20, a recreation and event management major, is a student assistant at the information desk in the Reitz Student Union.

"I think once people realize the lounge area is back there, I am sure there will be more student traffic," said Leonhardt.

Mironack said the Reitz Union lacked open spaces that were student-friendly.

"The neatest thing is that we know we got it right," Mironack said. "When we took down the barriers and set in the furniture, the lounge was crowded within an hour."

Renovations are not complete. The bathrooms on the first floor are still being altered and expected to be ready in the end of February.

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