Upstairs at the MU

construction manager explains progress on renovation

Construction manager Mark Graeve, facilities planning and management, explains progress on the MU's fourth floor, where drywall work is nearing completion. The two extra-wide doors cover access to the building's elevators. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

The renovation of the top three floors of the Memorial Union is about 70% complete, narrow hallways replaced with open reception areas adjacent to the two elevators and staff offices along the north and south walls. Pandemic-related waits for materials and work crews and the need to add insulation to the exposed peak roof on the sixth floor added about eight weeks to the 15-month timeline, but facilities planning and management, which is coordinating the project, will start releasing floors for information technology and furniture installation at the end of January. FPM construction manager Mark Graeve expects the final floor (6) to be ready for furnishings by late February.

MU associate director Brad Hill said he's hopeful that by late April office teams that are ready can move in to their new offices.

Since the demolition phase ended, the project hasn't presented any significant hurdles, Graeve said. Craftsmen find solutions to all the usual challenges of modernizing a century-old structure -- for example, fitting heating/cooling piping into ceiling structures designed for floor radiators.

In addition to providing modern, comfortable spaces for staff and the students they serve in a convenient location, the renovation will eliminate several million dollars of deferred maintenance and replace the heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, communications and security systems for floors four, five and six -- approximately 23,000 gross square feet.

These seven student services teams will set up shop in suites on the renovated floors:

  • 4: The Center (LGBTQIA+ Student Success), International Students and Scholars
  • 5: Study Abroad Center, Veterans Center
  • 6: Student Legal Services, ISCORE/NCORE, Lectures Program


Drywaller on stilts works in the renovation site

A drywall specialist on stilts works in a fifth floor office of the Memorial Union.

construction manager explains progress on renovation

Construction manager Mark Graeve points out the insulated peaked roof on the sixth floor of the Memorial Union. Renovation work on the sixth floor will be completed last, likely in late February.

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