Members of Northern Kentucky University’s community can now take a one-hour tour through the new Student Union, but while they may not have far to go, they’ll find the building’s construction still does.
“Most of the walls are framed in,” said Sarah Aikman, director of Student Union Administration. “But for finished d’eacute;cor you’ll need to use your imagination.”
Students, faculty and staff can don hard hats and be guided through all the major attractions in the ongoing Student Union construction, namely the ballroom, food court, meeting rooms, game room and the space set aside for various student organizations.
“They’ll get to see how the building is taking shape and see how the layout (of the union) is coming together,” she said.
At the moment, the new Student Union has concrete floors, framed-in walls and rooms, some drywall up and is almost totally enclosed.
The guides, consisting of a Student Union staff member, Messer construction employee and Associate Director of Construction Marilyn Heflin, tailor each tour to the group of students there, according to Chris Bowling, an IT manager for the Student Union Administration.
“Depending on who’s in the group, we may spend more time answering questions pertaining to their interests,” he said.
Many of the students who have toured the union so far are involved in student organizations.
“It’s mostly been people who are actually going to be in the building,” Administrative Specialist Maryann Trumble said. “They’re curious as to where their spaces are going to be and how it’s going to look.”
But there’s still plenty to see for the average student. Terri Bridewell, coordinator of the University Center, said she and many others who toured it were surprised at its size.
“You get inside and you’re like: ‘Wow it’s bigger that I thought it would be,'” she said.
Despite the affiliations of the students touring, guides to the tour make sure to describe the major attractions of the building such as the ballroom, which is two-stories high and will have three sound proof rooms, so that three different events can take place simultaneously.
Other highlights include the future site of the game room, which will feature several game systems and a concession stand that will stay open late, as well as a food court and a kitchen, which will be able to seat 700 people, according to Bridewell.
Students can also see the future locales of food court restaurants, including a Starbucks and a bakery, as well as restaurants featuring Italian and Chinese food.
All Student Union staff members agree that it is important for students to sign up for the tour. “This is their student union,” Trumble said. “We want them to get excited about the new building on campus.”
The tour is also a good opportunity for students to ask any questions they may have, Bowling said. “It really affects everyone on campus,” he added.
Bowling also recommended taking the tour more than once, because one tour will be very different from another three months afterward.
“Come back in January when the drywall is up and it’ll be a world of difference,” he said.
The only apparel requirement to take the tour, Trumble said, are close-toed shoes. Otherwise, students can wear anything they want, except, of course, their birthday suits.
Students interested in taking the tour should e-mail Trumble at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will then send a reply to the student confirming the tour as well as a reminder e-mail the day of the tour. The remaining fall semester tours will be at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, 16 and 30. Spring tour dates are to be announced.