With construction to the Memorial Union already in full swing, University of Wisconsin-Madison students are finding the renovation an inconvenience, but said it was worth it in the long run.
The construction, which began June 18 and is projected to continue until June 2014, focuses on the west wing of the union. The renovation aims to update the temperature regulation system, while making the union more handicap accessible and remodeling and enlarging the lounge for the Union Theater.
Due to the west wing construction, several study rooms at the union have been closed, creating minor frustration among students such as UW-Madison senior Crescentia Stegner-Freitag.
“[The construction] closed my favorite study spot,” Stegner-Freitag said. “But otherwise it’s been pretty unobtrusive.”
Some students, including UW-Madison senior Megan McDowell, find the construction blocking their traditional running routes by the Memorial Union Terrace annoying, but see it as only a small issue.
“I’m sure that whatever they’re doing is for restoration purposes so it’s not destroying anything, except maybe adding a few seconds onto my run,” McDowell said.
Even a new student to campus, international student Fatima El Ouarit, has noticed small hassles with the construction, but finds the positives outweigh the negatives.
“It is sometimes a bother when you have the noise right behind you, but if it’s to make [the union] better, then why not?” El Ouarit said.
The renovations to the union will include rooms such as the Union Theater, which will undergo reconstruction to modernize the space while still maintaining the historic design, according to project planners.
Additionally, the Paul Bunyan room, which traditionally receives complaints about its uncomfortable temperatures, will receive a new temperature regulation system to solve the problem.
A second phase of construction focusing on the central areas of the union will start after the west wing construction is complete. The timeline for the second phase has not been finalized.