New MU Student Center will open Monday

Sunday, January 4, 2009 | 3:31 p.m. CST; updated 7:02 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 4, 2009

COLUMBIA — Beginning Monday, there will be only one way for students to access University Bookstore and other Brady Commons services.

The new MU Student Center will open with one entrance at the southeast corner of Hitt and Rollins streets. This will be the only way to access University Bookstore, Truman’s Takeout, the student ID office, UMB Bank and Tiger Tech until construction is complete.

Michelle Froese, center spokeswoman, said the southeast corner is the most practical given the construction layout.

Phase I of the new center will be opening as construction begins on the second phase in what is now Brady Commons.

According to the center's Web site, the project was split into two phases to allow the services Brady Commons currently offers to continue during construction. Phase II should be completed by spring 2011.

Froese said in an e-mail that planning for the project began in fall 2000 in response to student concerns that Brady Commons was too small to meet their needs.

In 2005, MU students voted to pay for 50 percent of the project, and Student Affairs Auxiliaries agreed to pay for the other half. The $35-per-semester increase, which starts this month, will raise the student union fee from $24.65 to $59.65.

Froese has worked to notify students that they will be unable to use the former Brady Commons entrances when classes resume Jan. 20. Signs are posted informing students of the change, and staff will help direct traffic a few days before classes resume.

The bookstore will reopen Monday. Truman’s Takeout will open Jan. 12 to serve primarily fresh food because regular food services will be closed until Phase II is completed.

The second floor of Phase I will house the Leadership Lounge, a chamber auditorium, the Missouri Students Association, Greek Life and services and resources for the more than 450 student organizations.

Other services will be expanded while the remainder of the student center is under construction.

The Bookmark Cafe in Ellis Library and J-Cafe in the Reynolds Institute of Journalism have added more food options, and Bengal Lair in Memorial Union has provided more seating.

“The goal is to provide as much as possible while Brady is offline,” Froese said.

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