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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

March 30, 2007

MU south addition nearly complete

by Anne Krapfl

Not quite a year into the renovation project at the Memorial Union, there's significant progress to report. The south addition is nearly complete and occupants - namely the University Book Store - will be moving in by mid-April. The south driveway from Morrill Road to the loading dock area will be repoured and landscaping in the area will begin later this spring.

Work continues on the four-story northeast stair/elevator tower that will connect the building to the parking ramp at each level above ground. That tower is expected to see its first use in July. Work also shifts now to renovating existing spaces on the second floor.

As a result, the construction site on the north side of the building (near the entrance to the parking ramp) has been enlarged, said Gail Ferlazzo, associate director of the Memorial Union. There still is a north driveway entrance to the ramp, but that's about all there is space for, she said. The right (west) half of the circular driveway and the former north loading dock have become part of a construction staging area. There no longer is any short-term parking near the east entrance to the building (near the MU Cafe and Onion's).

Interior changes, temporary room closings

One of the primary goals of the renovation, Ferlazzo noted, is to improve traffic patterns in the building. In the interior renovation phase, several new corridors will be created, including a public, east access to the Great Hall, Sun Room and South Ballroom. The hotel desk also will move to the east end of the main floor and the north-south corridor will shift into the east end of the Oak Room. To achieve this, the second floor hallway between the bookstore offices (former ISU Alumni Association space) and the Regency Room will close sometime between April 23 and May 7 and remain closed until early January 2008.

When the renovation is complete, guests arriving from the parking ramp should have a more direct route to events in the ballroom complex, Ferlazzo noted.

The Regency Room was closed last month, but Ferlazzo said the MU has added a meeting room on the third floor that's about the same size. The Regency Room is being converted to a large women's restroom suite that will include a family restroom.

Other rooms that will be closed temporarily, include:

  • Gold Room, early April through late fall.
  • Great Hall, April 23 through late September.
  • Oak Room and Cardinal Room, April 23 through late December.
  • Sun Room and South Ballroom, May 7 through early September.

"We'll provide our patrons with whatever assistance we're able to in finding alternative meeting and event locations - either within the MU, or contact names regarding other facilities on campus," Ferlazzo said.

Bookstore hopes to open new space by Veishea

Veishea visitors to campus may be able to shop for the first time in the University Book Store's expanded space. At least that's what bookstore officials are shooting for. Absent any last-minute delays, the bookstore staff expects to begin setting up its additional retail space by April 3 or 4.
More about the bookstore renovation.