Reeve renovations to begin summer 2016

Raquel Tuohy

Reeve Memorial Union renovations promise to bring positive changes to the UW Oshkosh campus once construction begins later this year. According to the Director of Reeve Memorial Union Randy Hedge, Reeve Union is close to beginning construction. “The construction contract specifications and building plans are currently going through the bidding process with the state,” Hedge said. “Bids are due March 24 and we will begin construction just a few weeks after that, likely the beginning of May.” The renovations were passed by a student referendum in 2012 and aims to update and renovate the oldest portion of Reeve. Funds for the Reeve Union renovations were part of a $7.6 million project that has been financed by segregated fees. According to Hedge, renovations were supposed to begin a few years ago, but the project has run into some problems. “The schedule has been delayed several times due to budget issues and delays in the state process,” Hedge said. “Once construction begins in May, it will be approximately a year until substantial completion, hopefully by late spring or early summer 2017.” Students have seen the construction and completion of the UW Credit Union that had its grand opening on Feb. 22. Andy Yang, the president of the Reeve Advisory Council and UWO student, is satisfied with how the UW Credit Union turned out. “I think the [UW] Credit Union renovations will help our campus greatly.” Yang said. “Also, I would like to add that the location of the [UW] Credit Union seems to be more inviting and less intimidating.” Until the final renovations are complete, there have been temporary building changes within Reeve Union. “The Oshkosh Student Association is located near B&G Grill,” Hedge said. “Allocations will relocate to Polk Library, after spring break. The Student Leadership and Involvement Center is temporarily located on the lower level of Reeve Union, near Titan Underground.” Junior Kathryn Kubasta is looking forward to the changes that are coming to Reeve Union. “I saw the [UW] Credit Union and it’s much more open than it was before.” Kubasta said. “It made me want to go in there and check it out. I hope they carry that openness to more of the new projects.” When construction is complete, student organizations will be located on the main and second floor. Copy This!! and Reeve Marketing will be adjacent to the front entrance where the UW Credit Union used to be. Hedge said the goal of the renovations is to build a more open and inviting space in Reeve in addition to upgraded facilities. “[We hope to] create a more welcoming entrance and address accessibility needs,” Hedge said. “[We will] double the size of the Student Involvement Center, with more resources, meeting and workspace for our 170 student organizations.” There are also plans to add a lactation room and gender neutral bathroom, as well as add a new public elevator for the Algoma Boulevard entrance. Hedge said he hopes students will adjust well once the renovation of Reeve Union comes to fruition. “The changes will improve Reeve Union,” Hedge said. “The student building committee worked for two years on this project with the architects, and their vision is about to become reality.”