Architects seek student advice

Monday, February 28, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:07 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Some students around MU are now wearing “I Love Brady” shirts to show their support for the remodeling of the student center.

Architects from Mackey Mitchell Associates of St. Louis and Holtzman Moss of New York, came to Brady Commons and Eva J’s dining hall on Thursday to present current design plans and get student feedback.

“We have been coming to the campus for the past three months to show the progress of the designs and get feedback from the students,” New York architect Douglas Moss said.

Colored renderings and three-dimensional designs were displayed to provide a more accurate representation of the plans. Moss and the other architects have gotten advice from students on all aspects of the new center, including where the front door should be located and whether a Tiger Terrace rooftop garden should be added.

“The new building will be student focused. We want to make sure it reflects what the students want, like more dining space and natural light,” Moss said.

The T-shirt encourages students to vote on a fee referendum in April. If the referendum passes, the plans for the new student center will continue.

“We want students to have as much information as possible going into the fee referendum,” said Michelle Froese of Student Auxiliary Services. “Our goal is to make an incredible building for students, and they have a say in if the project actually goes ahead.”

Froese said the student response has been positive. During the architect’s visit four weeks ago, 300 to 400 students stopped by; since then, details in the plans have changed, reflecting the students’ feedback. On Thursday, more than 400 T-shirts with various sayings were given away to inquiring students.

“The architects are really eager to talk to us. They seem to really care what the students want,” said Lauren Lang, an environmental design major. “Allowing the students to see the plans will make them more excited about the project and encourage them to vote.”

The project has no official price tag, yet. A referendum vote will decide whether and by how much students want to increase their student activities fee to fund about half of the new student center. The fee would not be added until part of the new building is available for student use, which will be at least three years from now.

“I think the new student center would be amazing and offer so much more than there is now,” freshman Taylor Walter said. “I think getting student input is a really good idea, especially since my class will be able to use the new center.”

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