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The Antelope

The Antelope

West Center renovation set to create ‘collaborative environment’

UNK NEWS UNK designed the plan for West Center’s remodel, which is set to begin this spring.

West Center will get a makeover this spring. A $1 million renovation is in place to turn the nearly century-old building into a destination for students.

Tim Jares, the dean of the College of Business and Technology, hopes to create an experience for all students.

“I wanted to encourage a collaborative environment,” Jares said.

The idea began when Jares arrived in 2019. Jares originally worked with design students in order to create a concept for the renovation. It was then approved and became the project happening today.

Overall, the renovation will affect around 7,000 square feet on the east side of the building. The current plan is to create designated study areas, both for groups and individuals, as well as adding a fireplace lounge and enhancing the entrance. 

The remodel mostly affects the lower floor and will remove the employee offices and two of the three classrooms.

While there will be some construction, a majority of the project is demolition. Multiple walls will be taken down in order to create an open concept space.

Designated study areas will be on the first and second floors. The first floor areas will be for groups while the second floor will focus on individuals. Both floors will be equipped with a conference room with upgraded technology, such as interactive whiteboards and cameras.

The east entrance will be renovated into an open area with furniture such as tables and chairs.

The remaining classrooms will become the university’s finance lab, and it will be walled in by glass, allowing students and visitors to observe. The classroom will feature a digital stock ticker and Bloomberg Terminals.

Brewed Awakening, the student-run coffee shop located on the lower level of West Center, is getting redesigned as well.

In the past, the shop didn’t provide much seating to those passing by. It created

unnecessary traffic and didn’t allow students to relax. 

“It wasn’t a destination,” Jares said.

Jares hopes to create a better dining experience for those on west campus by offering more seating and additional storage. 

A fireplace lounge will be where Brewed Awakening currently stands.

The renovation will start around April 30 and be completed before the beginning of the fall semester. 

“I’m doing everything I can to reduce the risk of project slippage,” Jares said.

The $1 million project will be funded with $750,000 from campus advancement reserve funds from the chancellor’s office and $250,000 in operating reserve funds from the College of Business and Technology.

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