Mild changes planned for Union Renovation


After promising full scale changes to the Student Union in 2020, BW is now planning to make minor enhancements, according to the Vice President of Student Affairs Timeka Rashid. 

In February of 2020, The Exponent initially reported on a planned $20 million renovation of the Union, which promised a “21st century dining experience.” Rashid told The Exponent that the pandemic put a halt on those plans, and the University has now refocused their efforts into less lofty changes. 

The new plan focuses more on enhancing the space than truly renovating it. Rashid described these “enhancements” as updating the furniture and layout of the space. The tentative plan is to enhance the second floor and reimagine the first floor of the Union.  

Back in 2020, President Bob Helmer said that the renovation would not only provide a “21st century dining experience,” but the plan called for an addition to be built in the southeast corner of the Colony room to make it into a “1,000-seat conference center.” 

The previous renovation plans came from student feedback, Helmer told The Exponent when the initial plans were announced. 

“These came from things that students have shared with us that Strosacker lacks in two things: one, good dining experience and two, adequate meeting space,” Helmer told The Exponent. 

A lot of the initial plans and discussions for the Union renovation occurred prior to Rashid’s employment at BW, with Helmer previously saying half of the renovation funds were raised. Now that she is the new Vice President of Student Affairs, the discussions are beginning again. 

We plan to host focus groups this fall to re-introduce the plans, listen to different user groups who can all add to what they want to see and feel in the renovated space. ” said Rashid. 

Rashid said the University is committed to moving forward with renovation plans this fall.