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Online Exclusive: Student Union Memorial Center a little bit closer to completion

By Kristina Dunham
Arizona Summer Wildcat
Wednesday July 10, 2002

As construction continues, prospective students at UA orientation aren‚t the only ones asking for directions in the new Student Union Memorial Center.

U-Mart and the information desk moved upstairs as new flooring was installed downstairs last month.

„The decision to move the convenience store was literally made overnight,š said Dan Adams, the director of Arizona Student Unions.

Both the store and the information desk were operating downstairs in temporary locations along the corridor on the northern side of the building.

„We didn‚t really have a choice; either we shut them down or we found another spot,„ Adams said. „I‚d rather put them in a closet if I have to, just to keep them open,š he said.

Adams also said that where the convenience store and information desk are located now is „not a good location,š but he emphasized that it is temporary.

One change that is permanent, however, is the new linoleum flooring that was installed downstairs in the union to cover up the concrete floors.

The new flooring is part of the union‚s $59 million price tag. About $58.3 million has been spent on the union so far, said Dick Davis, assistant director of business services for facilities design and construction.

Installing linoleum meant closing the food court from June 14 to June 17.

„I was a little bit inconvenienced (by the closure) just because I only have a small amount of time in between classes to grab a bite to eat,š said Karelia Moore, a visual communications junior. „Not knowing the union was closed basically cut that time in half.š

While some students found the closure inconvenient, union representatives said they did everything possible to minimize inconvenience to union visitors.

Bob Bertolini, general superintendent for Swinerton Builders, said that particular weekend was chosen to install flooring because it was supposed to be „the slowest weekend of the year.š

Adams also said that additional measures were taken to make the closure less inconvenient, including the opening of the Cactus Grill and temporary placement of Dominoes in the Orbur and Wilbur‚s cart outside.

Within the first two weeks after the new flooring was installed, some bubbles popped up under the surface in various places throughout the union. Bertolini said that this is a natural occurrence and that there is a „quick fix for it: We use hypodermic needles to shoot adhesive into the area.š According to Bertolini, this solution allows for the expansion and contraction of the linoleum caused by the heat.

The U-Mart is scheduled on Aug.18 to open in its final home on the first floor where the post office is now. The information desk should be in its final location by the first day of fall classes.

Fast Copy, the post office and the rest of the food court seating areas are also scheduled to move into their final destinations by Aug. 26. What is now Fast Copy will become a meeting kiva.


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