Next year, Reeve Memorial Union will get a makeover.
While parts of the building have been renovated in the past, the section facing Algoma Blvd. is due for an update. The goal of the renovation project is to modernize the entrance that opens up to campus on Algoma Blvd. as well as make important components of the union, such as the Student Leadership and Involvement Center (SLIC), more inviting and accessible.
“The fact that we’re able to expand is really exciting,” Student Building Committee Chair Nikki Raccio said. “It’ll give us a bit more space for our ever growing student involvement.”
Raccio is the elected president of the Reeve Advisory Council and oversees student involvement in the project. She is responsible for communicating the needs and wants of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students to the building committee assigned to the project. Student input is an important part of the project as students were responsible for initiating the project, Raccio said. The renovations were approved as part of an Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) referendum back in 2012.
Although the exact costs are not yet known, the estimated budget for the renovation project is around $7.6 million. To fund the renovations, the OSA voted to raise student fees by $56 over a span of three years.
The entrance on Algoma is one of the projects focal points of Reeve Union, which was first constructed in 1957; a significant addition and renovation to Reeve Union occurred in 2000-2001, which included the addition of the University book store and the addition of the entry on Algoma Blvd. Even with the addition to the Algoma side of the building, however, the entrance currently lacks handicap access and its curb appeal; the entrance needs improvements to provide a more welcoming and approachable atmosphere, those involved with the project say.
The renovations will be completed by architects and engineers from Berners-Schober Associates, based in Green Bay. Berners-Schober have collaborated with UW Oshkosh for several other important projects such as Sage Hall and Horizon Village.
“The best improvement to this project will definitely be the larger, more open SLIC space,” Berners-Schober architect Derek Gruber said. “Other improvements include creating a new exterior appearance as well as addressing energy efficiency.”
Gruber said the construction is planned to take about one year and will begin in fall 2015. Parts of Reeve that aren’t being renovated will still be accessible to the students and employees who need to access to its various resources throughout the duration of the construction.
While the actual ground breaking of the project is a little while out, make ready moves are already beginning to occur at Reeve Union. The Reeve Marketing area will be relocating to the Reeve Administration office by Dec. 1, 2014; Copy This!! will move to a new temporary location by Titan Central, by the start of fall interim (January 2015) and will eventually be moved to a temporary space, which will be constructed during the month of December.
Once the renovations are complete, both Copy This!! and Reeve Marketing will have new office/retail space in the new renovated/expanded space off the Algoma entrance. The current Copy This!!/Reeve Marketing space is being vacated so the UW Credit Union can be renovated to create a new branch location space.
“We will work with Reeve staff and the construction team to minimize the impact of this project during construction,” Gruber said.
Raccio said that Reeve Union acts as the heart of the campus and updates to the building are exciting for students.
“Reeve offers a sense of community and collaboration,” she said. “We want that to continue and get stronger as the years continue here at UWO.”