As construction winds down on the first phase of the Memorial Union Reinvestment Project, developers revealed the preliminary designs for the next phase at a meeting Monday.
The design process is underway for the second phase of the project, Wisconsin Union Director Mark Guthier said. The main priorities for the second phase of the reinvestment is to honor the past of Memorial Union, promote sustainability, upgrade infrastructure, achieve universal accessibility, maintain and restore historic and iconic integrity, Guthier said.
The Wisconsin State Historical Society surveyed Memorial Union this summer and created a preservation plan that outlined which parts of the building could be changed and which needed to be maintained in the second phase of the project, Guthier said.
Der Rathskeller will be one of the provisions of the Union that will be preserved, Nat Stein from Uihlein/Wilson Architects said.
One of the major changes students will see is a two-story coffeehouse and lounge, with the aim to have students utilize the second floor of Memorial Union more, Stein said.
The project will also take away Lakefront on Langdon and replace it with an Italian restaurant, Asian restaurant and Badger Market similar to those in Union South, Cary said. It will also feature a deli that will serve healthy fast food options, she said.
Another major change will be the addition of Alumni Park, a large green space directly across from the east side of the union to be completed by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, CEO Paula Bonner said.
The east side of Memorial Union will be reconstructed to allow a new entrance and pathway directly to the park.
The project includes plans for bike parking but will not include vehicle parking, Nate Novak, a planner from Smith Group, said.
“The aim of the reinvestment project is to see what everyone loves about spaces in the Memorial Union and see how to make them better, such as the terrace,” Novak said.
Minor improvements to the Terrace will include a larger stage in order to host larger events with better visibility and lighting, he said.
Cary said she is glad to see the Union demonstrating their respect for the student voice and the respect the architects have for the process as well.
The design committee will complete its plans for the next phase of the project and hopes to receive all necessary approvals by late winter and early spring in order to start construction on Phase II after Phase I construction wraps in Summer 2014.