Rams on campus this summer are being faced with some drastic changes when it comes to CSU’s homebase for students: the Lory Student Center.
Full renovation of LSC Central, the portion of the building between the LSC Theatre and former Off-Campus Life office, is now underway according to Doni Luckutt, director of marketing for Colab, the LSC Marketing Shop.
“The Student Center began the renovation over winter break, starting with a fence on the southwest of the building and some electrical work on the east side,” Luckutt wrote in an email to the Collegian. “The Sutherland sculpture garden, ASCSU Senate Chambers and Curfman Gallery then began demolition in the spring, and late in the semester, Student Center Central was closed to the public.”
The three major aspects of the revitalization project are to improve building infrastructure and systems, organize and highlight Student Diversity Programs and Services and target growth that aligns with Colorado State University’s land grant mission, according to the LSC website.
Unique opportunities have arisen out of the LSC project for both the CSU Police Department and the Poudre Fire Authority. According to Ellis, the PFA was able to use the building for training on entering locked doors and CSUPD practiced emergency responses for an active shooter situation.
Ellis said there are very few opportunities for these emergency teams to use a facility this size.
A total of about 500 people have been relocated due to the revitalization, according to Mike Ellis, executive director of the LSC. Approximately 175 shared workstations have been relocated to the Mac Gym in the Rec Center. Another 75 to 100 shared workstations have been moved elsewhere across campus and throughout the Fort Collins community.
“Offices like SLiCE, Off-Campus Life, Campus Activities, Student Diversity Programs and Services, the Career Center and others have moved to LSC West (The Mac Gym),” Luckutt wrote. “It has been retrofitted to house most offices during the revitalization. Look to the west and you’ll see the ‘LSC West’ banner hanging at the entrance.”
Junior social work major Kebrina Chirdon said she is optimistic about the move.
“I am excited and mildly nervous about being in the LSC West space,” said Chirdon, who works for ASAP and the Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center.
“The collaborations have already begun and will continue to be fantastic, though with us all being so close I don’t know that we will be getting as much work done as we did before,” Chirdon said. “Maybe that time to bond and have some fun will have great effects for the future.”
Ramskeller Express and a Sweet Sinsations coffee cart will be in LSC North, according to Luckutt. Renovations include expansion of the Ramskeller and additional space for the CSU microbrewery and microbrewery classroom, Ellis said.
The CSU Bookstore, Cam’s Lobby Shop, Aspen Grille, Bagel Place Two, the Flea Market, Recycled Cycles, Student Legal Services and Adult Learner Veteran Services will all remain open in LSC North.
One LSC staple that many students may be concerned about – the food court – will be closed during renovations. In its place, T-Dex will be relocated between the LSC and Morgan Library, and food trucks will be placed on the south side of the Education building.
“We will increase grab-and-go options at all of our food locations,” Ellis said.
The revitalization process will also expand the ballroom by 30 percent and the new ballroom balcony will overlook the Lagoon, Ellis said.
The relocations currently in place will all remain the same from now until completion, Ellis said. The only shift still remaining is RamTech, which is temporarily located in the former Off-Campus Life office. Once the RamTech space – where El Centro used to be located – is complete, it will move there and OCL will become part of the renovations.
“This is summer, so usage always decreases during this time of year,” Luckutt wrote of LSC student traffic compared to last year.
Entrances to the LSC that will remain open are the north entrance by the Transit Center, the West entrance to the bookstore and the north Plaza doors across from the Engineering building.
Renovations are currently on track to meet the August 2014 deadline for reopening, according to Luckutt.
“They are in the demolition phase,” Ellis said. “Which also lends itself to a bit of discovery and the opportunity to understand any ‘unknowns’ in the facility.”
Ellis said issues like fire code compliance, seismic compliance and universal design will be addressed by the contractor, whom the building is completely turned over to during construction.
“(Feedback) has all been positive, outside the usual stress associated with a move,” Ellis said.
Total approved funding for the student center renovation is $65 million. $60 million of that is bonded and $5 million will come from LSC reserves, the website states. In April 2011, students approved a $70 million student center fee increase to pay for the revitalization.
Visit the LSC website for more information and live feeds of the construction.
Managing Editor Emily Smith can be reached at email@example.com.