The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater recently reopened its James R. Connor University Center, following a $20.4 million renovation project.
"The campus community has been without its central gathering place for the last year-and-a-half, and I commend the students for their adjustments during this time," said Steve Summers, deputy assistant chancellor of student affairs. "Having the UC open again brings their gathering place back."
The project added an expanded art gallery, a convenience store, a coffee shop, a new student involvement complex, a recreation center, an auditorium, a ballroom, study spaces, state-of-the-art meeting rooms and an additional 6,000 square feet.
"I’m excited about the positive impact having the UC back on-line is going to have," said Bob Barry, director of the University Center. "Earlier last semester, we were giving some student groups tours of the new building. Even though the building was far from completed, the students could see its potential and were excited about it."
The University Center is supposed to serve the needs of the students, but in many ways it wasn’t prior to the year-and-a-half renovation, university officials said. More than half of the student organizations had to hold meetings in academic buildings because of the lack of large meeting rooms in the UC. The infrastructure and meeting room technology needed major upgrades, officials said.