$26.5 Million BMU Expansion/Bookstore


President Esteban talks about teamwork on the BMU expansion project
as Richard Elsom (center), AS. president, and Brian Miller, chair of
the expansion committee look on. (photo KM)
It's more than a facelift for the Bell Memorial Union—it's a $26 million renovation that will transform the old into new with a 52,000 square-foot, three-story bookstore and a 15,000 square foot, multi-use room.

At a press conference on September 9, President Manuel A. Esteban and AS. President Richard Elsom, with a host of others instrumental in the development of the project made an official announce and released the architectural drawings.

Esteban praised the student leaders of the AS. for their role in the project and for their part in the teamwork that allowed the huge project to move forward. "We're all part of one university. It's nice to come together for such a large project that will benefit the whole community."

Elsom acknowledged how gratifying it was for the AS. to work so closely with the administration and facilities planning. Elsom said that it was an opportunity to override the "us vs. them" philosophy that separates students from university personnel.

Brian Miller, BMU Committee chair, said the budget projections, increased from original estimates, resulted from an expanded vision of the project. Last spring, students agreed to a fee increase of $34 over four semesters.

The plans, created by Lionakis-Beaumont Design Group, include expanding the BMU to a full city block.

The multi-use room will hold 1000 people for concerts and events and up to 400 for dinners. Other features include a basement level recreation area; a game room with pool tables and arcade games; a fully-equipped computer lab; increased and larger meeting rooms; and an expanded Garden Cafe.

The hard work of Dennis Graham, vice president of Business and Finance, Bill McGinnis, director of Facilities Management, Greg Francis, director of Facilities Planning, and David Buckley, student activity fee director was recognized.

DA/KM


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