The process of removing operations and offices from the University of North Texas Union is on schedule, clearing the four-level building for fall construction to completely reconfigure and expand the space.
On Friday, crews brought in pieces to start construction of a temporary food pavilion, which will house food operations from mid-August until August 2015, when the new student union is expected to be completed, said Zane Reif, director of the University Union.
So far, temporary modular buildings for use by the College of Visual Arts and Design have been assembled in just a few months, and a temporary building for the university bookstore is underway. In addition to the temporary facilities, renovations are being completed on other buildings, adding to the complex preparation, Reif said.
“I think there’s five active job sites, so I think that’s the hardest part right now,” he said. “You’re trying to get people moving and it’s like a domino effect — it’s five active projects for just the union. Once they’re able to just focus on the union in September, it will be a lot easier for the guys working on it.”
The final floors are being put into the Dance and Theatre Arts building behind Greek Row, and the College of Visual Arts and Design building is close to completion as well, Reif said.
Interior renovations for Stovall Hall are also underway, which will temporarily house student organization and administration offices, some student services and a Wells Fargo location beginning the week of Aug. 19.
Freshmen and transfer orientations have included talks about the project and what’s to come, drawing a positive response from the new students, UNT senior Rudy Reynoso said. Students know what’s coming, so they are more excited than dismayed about the construction, said Reynoso, who served on the Union Master Plan Committee.
“It’s been crazy, but there’s been a lot of anticipation,” Reynoso said. “The students have seen the visions for it, so it’s not so much that there’s the construction, it’s the anticipation of what’s to come.”
The temporary facilities should be up and running by the fall semester, and the last of the offices, including student affairs and union administration, will move out of the union building the week of Sept. 23.
“Right now I think we are progressing and are right on schedule with where we need to be — knock on wood,” Reif said.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.