Pardon our dust

Renovations to the student union are complete, but the broader updates to the McNichols campus are just beginning.

The University’s Fisher Administration Center is set to be demolished in the near future. The Fisher building has been around since 1966 and to many around the campus it is considered an eye sore that doesn’t fit with all the other buildings.

Reno Hall is also set for demoli- tion. Reno Hall originally was used as a dormitory; it is now used mainly as the home of the Theater program with many of the old rooms used as either classrooms, study rooms, costume and prop storage.

Tamar S. Batcheller, associate vice president of the facilities management and campus services division, said Shiple Hall, the freshman dormitory, will also get some upgrades.

Shiple’s first level lounge will be updated to include an open lounge, group study rooms and snack store. Next, the Shiple lower level, will be renovated to include an event space, outdoor patio, laundry room and group study rooms.

New windows in the Quad build- ings will be installed as well, along with Quad lounges. Batcheller also said renovations are underway to the College of Health Professions building to add a Simulation, Technology and Research Center, known as the STAR Center. The center will include four simulation rooms; two high-fidelity and multi-function rooms, a telehealth room and a high-tech flexible trauma/operating room, according to the university. It will increase collaborative space from 1,200 square-feet today to 5,000 square-feet.

The plan is to have almost every building on the McNichols campus updated to some degree.

The new student union, which was formally dedicated last month, was updated for the first time since 1970. The focus of the project was to improve the lives of the students and those who commute and live on campus. But the updates to the student union aren’t completely finished.

The university plans to add a new performing arts rehearsal studio, which will be located there. It will also be future home to the Center for Career and Professional Develop- ment, currently located in Reno Hall.

Many students are already happy with the renovations; the area is already much more lively than it was in 2019. Funding for these projects has come in multiple ways from bonds, loans and even private donations.