Student Engagement office remodel continues

Construction on the future Offices of Student Engagement and the Student Government Association continues in the Guillot University Center. The remodeling project will be complete April 12, said Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter.

After sitting vacant for nearly two years, the old university bookstore in the Guillot University Center is getting a major makeover.

It will be a joint office for the Office of Student Engagement, the Feeding the Pride Food Pantry and the Student Government Association once the remodel is complete, said Assistant Vice President for Facilities Administration and Planning Michael Gautney in a previous article.

“The contractors finished putting up the walls over the break,” said Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter. “They should be finishing the plumbing right now.”

The nearly $600,000 project began in December 2015 and should be complete by April 12, Carter said. All the money used for the remodel came from the 2016 deferred maintenance budget, which is set aside for remodels such as this one, he said.

Officials originally said the project would begin in November 2015 and be complete by the end of January.

Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields said the original bids for the project exceed the budget, so university officials had to make adjustments before the board of trustees approved funding.

“The whole project basically had to be re-engineered,” he said. “We had to go back and think about some things. Once the re-planning was finished, we had to start over again (with the funding process).”

The bookstore closed in December 2013 before the new bookstore opened in The Commons.

The blueprints for the new office include 10 offices, two conference rooms, three storage rooms, a student workroom, a break room and a receptionist’s office.

The new office will provide more room for Student Engagement, SGA and Registered Student Organizations.

“I definitely think that it will be beneficial for the two departments to be located in the same area because SGA and Student Engagement work together on a lot of projects,” said SGA President Nick Lang. “Also, students will now be able to go to the same place for any questions about student engagement, SGA, student allocations or campus programming.”

Lang said having the new space means all SGA meetings will take place in that office instead of GUC 200.

He also said he thinks it is important that students will be able to go to one location to get information about Greek Life, Student Engagement and SGA.

The new office features a student workroom where RSO members and leaders can make posters and other signage for their events, Shields said.

“It’ll be basically a one-stop shop for student groups,” he said.

After SGA moves out of their current office across from the Lion’s Den Game Room, the space will return to a faculty and staff lounge area, Gautney said in a previous article.