$33 Million Renovation Underway at ISU Student Center | WGLT

$33 Million Renovation Underway at ISU Student Center

The long-awaited $33 million renovation of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University is officially underway.

A big crowd turned out for Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony, including university officials, elected officials, and student leaders. ISU officials say the 44-year-old student union is in need of a makeover. The Bone sees 5,000 visitors daily and hosts more than 4,500 events throughout the year.

ISU students check out designs for the newly renovated Bone Student Center on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.
Credit Carleigh Gray / WGLT

“The Bone has seen so much traffic and so much love and respect from the students that at this point, it needs a little TLC,” said Beau Grzanich, ISU’s student body president. “This is an opportunity to revitalize it.”

The three-year renovation project will include:

  • A new addition will house a relocated Barnes and Noble Bookstore as well as a two-story atrium to welcome students and guests to the University.
  • On the third floor, a new welcome center will provide a view of campus, and the Office of Admissions will utilize the space for recruitment efforts.
  • Phase three of the project will further renovate the vacated second floor catering kitchen into a three-venue food court. When finished, the Bone will have six dining venues.

That addition on the east side will be the new starting point for prospective students.

“We will have an actual front door to the Bone Student Center,” said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Danielle Miller-Schuster.

The renovation will be paid for using reserve funds. “We’re proud that no tax money will be used for the project, and students will not see an increase in fees to fund it,” ISU’s Director of Event Management, Dining and Hospitality Bill Legett said in a statement. “We did this the old-fashioned way. We saved for it.”

The project will be completed in 2020.

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