Homestretch

When students return fromWinter Break, a new Unionwill be waiting for them.Most of the constructionthat began at the beginningof the school year will be finishedand open on Jan. 9.”It will be completely differentwhen they get back,”said Frank Chacon, assistantUnion director.According to Union DirectorWhit Hollis, a recentmarket analysis reported that83 percent of the U’s studentbody goes to the Union onceor more a week, meaning thatthe Union averages 14,000visitors a day.”Traditionally, the Union isthe campus community center,”Chacon said.A new student loungearea, bowling alley, billiardsarea, vending area, six builtininformation counters fortabling and remodeled bathroomswill be open and operational.The relocated UCardoffice and new Outtakes conveniencestore are alreadycompleted.A grand-opening ceremonyis scheduled for Jan. 19, withpresident Michael Young cuttingthe ribbon.”We’re right on schedule,”Hollis said. “The only complaintthat we have so faris that big blue wall [in theUCard office],” he said. “Wehave to have the blue becauseof the photographs. But we’veactually started looking atsome ways we can lessenthat blue impact. It’s just tooclose to BYU.”Not all students have adjustedto the changes.Matt Overly, a senior economicsstudent, said hecouldn’t find the new officewhen he needed a replacementUCard.He also said the Union”was kind of bottlenecked fora while” when the constructionwall was up.However, he added that thenew additions were worththe inconveniences.”It’ll be cool to have it allhere,” he said. “I wish they’dbeen here earlier.”Sophomore Jen Robertsagreed that the constructionhad its ups and downs.”It is inconvenient to bestudying and hear all thatconstruction,” she said. “Butif we’re going to get all thatstuff [it’s] not too bad.”Hollis said he hopes thatby tearing down the wallscurrently surrounding thebilliards room, the new spacewill feel more open and invitingto students.Chacon added that withthe new areas come moreprograms, such as bowlingspecials and billiards tournaments.”It needs to be thriving andlively,” he said. “Basically,it’s going to be a brand-newplace.”[email protected]

Breaking down Union construction

Already completed:* Relocated UCard office* Acquisitions for newvending area* New Outtakes conveniencestoreOpening in January:* New bowling alley* Remodeled billiards area* More bowling and billiardstournaments* New student lounge area* New vending area* Six built-in informationcounters for tabling* Remodeled bathroomsComing in February:* Student pharmacy* Computer lab with 120new computers and wirelessconnectionsComing soon:* Student art gallery