After months of construction, Wayne State students returned to campus with a renovated Student Center Building to enjoy yesterday morning.
“I’ve been here for seven years and it feels like I’m in an entirely different building,” said English graduate student Kris Green. “Personally, I like the renovations. I’m excited for the second half to open.”
The Student Center made many changes ranging from dining options to décor. The first floor has been remodeled as an open food court. Students now have a full menu Taco Bell and Panda Express as alternative campus dining options. In addition, Wing Stop and a full service Starbucks are expected to open within the next two months.
“I love how they opened up the eating space on the first floor,” said Davina Kendall, a sophomore nursing major. “Now I have a good number of places to spend my Warrior Dollars on.”
In addition to more dining options, the new Student Center provides students with a large number of seating areas to study and enjoy meals. The first floor food court and the second floor lounge area have both been expanded to accommodate more students. Student Center patrons have a number of new cushioned chairs, benches and tables to choose from while in the center.
The new Student Center also offers a redesigned third floor known as the Student Org. Collaboration Wing. There, state of the art meeting rooms with moveable furniture were built to serve student organizations and student groups. The other half of the building is expected to be complete in August 2015.
Dean of Students David Strauss is excited about the expected traffic of the third floor.
“This is going to be the place to be,” said Strauss. “All of these rooms can be reserved and used by anyone who needs a room to do a group project. If they can’t reserve a room, we have plenty of study areas available.”
Student Center Director Andrea Gerber said the reaction of students as they walked through was amazing. She said she was very pleased to see their positive reactions.
“I was downstairs watching the students come in and the best part about it was the ‘wow’ look on their faces,” said Gerber. “That has been the best part to me; watching the students enjoy their new space.”
Gerber hopes that the new Student Center will give students memories that they’ll cherish forever. She said that a student center is more than a building.
“I want them to have experiences here that they remember,” she said. “It’s a building, but it’s about the experiences they have inside. Like the airplanes on the ceiling of the old Student Center, maybe new traditions will start.”