Tempe student union reopens for spring semester

<p>Arizona State University will reopen the lower and first floors of the 255,000-square-foot Memorial Union (MU) on Monday, Jan. 14, the first day of classes for spring semester.</p><separator></separator><p>Serving as the central “hub” on the Tempe campus, the MU provides services, dining and office and conference space for students, faculty, staff and visitors. A fire broke out on the building's second floor on Nov. 1, 2007, causing a temporary closure of the union. Services of several dining facilities as well as spaces for two banks, ATMs, a travel agency, the Sun Card office and other retail operations are available to resume business in the MU on Monday.</p><separator></separator><p>The second and third floors of the MU, which consist of primarily office and meeting space, will remain closed to continue further extensive repair and renovation with a projected opening of May 2008. MU staff and student organization offices have been relocated to various areas on campus. All meetings and events scheduled for the Memorial Union have been moved to another venue. The Physical Education West building is being set up for meeting space until MU’s second floor reopens.</p><separator></separator><p>The repair and renovation project is costing $40 million, which is being funded by an estimated $27 million from insurance and the remaining from revenue bonds. The project was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in December, which allowed ASU to continue preparing the student union for the partial opening Monday.</p><separator></separator><p>Plans called for installation of new fire prevention methods, including fire detection, warning, barrier and suppression systems on all floors. Crews also restored, or are in the process of restoring, any and all building areas damaged by fire, smoke and water.</p><separator></separator><p>“We determined the extent of the damage and assessed what renovation needed to take place to ensure the building is safe and hospitable,” says Bruce Jensen, executive director of Capital Programs Management at ASU.</p><separator></separator><p>“Every effort was made to finish the lower and first levels so that students, staff and faculty could enjoy basic dining and retail services during the spring semester,” adds Jensen.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU has completed, or is in the process of completing, the following work:</p><separator></separator><ul><li>Install sprinklers, fire alarm system (including a voice annunciation system), stairwell fire barriers, and other appropriate structural modifications to meet state fire marshal requirements.</li><li>Restore the dining and retail venues on the first and lower levels.</li><li>Renovate building access and circulation.</li><li>Restore and renovate the public and meeting spaces on the lower, first, and second levels with upgraded finishes and fixtures.</li><li>Add ADA-compliant systems where feasible. </li></ul><p>For more information, go to: <a href="http://www.asu.edu/studentaffairs/mu">www.asu.edu/studentaffairs/mu</a>…;