An Accent article published on Jan. 23, 2020, mentioned that construction on the Bietz Center for Student Life was facing delays due to inclement weather and unforeseen circumstances.
Despite those setbacks, the Bietz Center for Student Life will hopefully gain its certificate of occupancy on June 1 and will have a grand opening in August when students come back to campus for the Fall 2021 semester, according to Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for financial administration.
“We need the summer to get everyone moved in, settled and prepared,” he said.
According to Hamilton, there is also a possibility that there will be a “soft opening” before the grand opening, for SmartStart students.
Hamilton said that it might be disappointing for graduating seniors who have anticipated seeing the center open, but he believes that because of the setbacks, it is nearly impossible to open now.
“I walk past it once in a while and wish I could have at least gotten a chance to experience it once,” said Kirsten Clark, senior marketing major.
According to Hamilton, parts of six different departments will be moving into the new center during the summer. These include the Campus Shop, the new Food Service eatery, the Office of Ministry and Mission, Student Development and the Student Success Center.
Hamilton is excited about the new student center’s potential.
“It’s totally student-focused,” he said. “It’s something like we haven’t had my entire time here.”
Hamilton is not the only one looking forward to the new center. Students are also excited about the opening of the new center.
Junior religious studies major Lucas Bueno said he is looking forward to opportunities to make new friends.
“I’m excited for the areas for socializing and meeting new people,” he said.
Other students like junior social work major John Kent are excited about new office spaces for the Office of Ministry and Mission as well as Student Association.
Since so many departments are moving, spaces will be vacated all around campus. Hamilton said he is unable to share what will fill the empty spaces, but the end result will take a long time.
“It’s actually probably going to take several years to make all that happen,” Hamilton said.
Another big project that will take place after the Bietz Center is finished is the McKee Library renovation, according to Hamilton. The renovation will include a new front entrance, 1,892 square feet added to the front of the library, building out the third floor, expanding the Writing and Tutoring Center, two new bathrooms, some new office space and a new classroom.