Newly updated architectural plans have recently been delivered to the university for the reconstruction of the Mary Graydon Center’s first floor, which will take place over the summer.
The architectural plans for the renovations are currently 50 percent complete, according to Mike Elmore, senior director of the University Center. This means detailed plans have been returned to the university for comments by all affected parties.
The plans call to open up the first floor of Mary Graydon and increase traffic flow, The Eagle previously reported.
The current plans include moving the bathrooms now located in front of the Tavern to near the staircase next to the Terrace Dining Room, in an effort to make the Tavern more of a “destination,” Elmore said.
The ultimate goal for the Tavern area is to “improve the atmosphere,” Elmore said. To do this, the plans call for more flexible floor space for events and varied, more advanced lighting.
“[We] will be able to program lighting in [the] Tavern to create different moods based on the time of day,” Elmore said.
The updated plans aim to keep people out of the Tavern while en route to Butler Pavilion and other parts of Mary Graydon. Elmore said the doors that separate the Tavern from Butler will be alarmed, prohibiting free movement from the stairwell by the bookstore into the Tavern.
“With this plan, [we] will create the Tavern as both a hangout place and venue,” Elmore said. “[It will be] less of a food court. That’s a major accomplishment.”
Other updates to the plans include redoing MGC so that “anywhere in MGC you can eat, anywhere in MGC you could lounge,” Elmore said, all efforts to make the building more of a “student center.”
“Our ultimate goal is to make this the place that has what students want,” he said.
After the blueprints are fine-tuned, the finalized plans will be submitted to D.C. for permit approval, which is the longest part of the process, Elmore said.
If all goes according to plan, demolition of the bathrooms would take place directly after commencement this May and all construction would be done by Aug. 15, Elmore said.
However, some students said they think the work is unnecessary.
“I don’t spend enough time in the Tavern to say it needs to be redone, but it’s always nice to see improvements on campus,” Remy Pascale, a sophomore in the School of Communication, said.
Leah Chavla, a freshman in the School of International Service, said she does see the need for the MGC improvements.
“It sounds nice,” Chavla said. “It will definitely improve the flow.”
Matt Kesicki, a junior in the Kogod School of Business, said better things could be done. Kesicki said he thinks the university should focus on the Terrace Dining Room instead.
“MGC is just fine,” Kesicki said. “TDR at dinner is crowded.”
The next part of MGC renovation will be reconstruction of the third floor once the SOC moves into the McKinley Building, Elmore said.
According to Elmore, one goal is to add more meeting space for students.
“Access to space is so limited,” he said. “[Our problem is] 80 percent of our meeting space doubles as classroom space.”
Elmore said the most important thing in this project is the student voice, which the university is taking into account through panels and talking with student leaders.
“Students’ voices are the most important,” he said. “We need what is best for the collective.”