The campus makeover is nearly over – for now.
From Memorial Union to the tennis court fence, much of the grounds have been retouched over the summer.
Some of the major projects included putting new windows in the Science Hall, new landscaping around Circle Drive and Memorial Square, remodeling Singular and Trusler halls and laying new concrete for some of the sidewalks.
Mark Runge, director of University Facilities, said the projects are an investment for the university. The work in the Union alone cost $22 million.
Runge said much of the work should be finished by September, and he hopes the student response to the change is positive.
For some students, it has been a worthwhile inconvenience.
“It’s a mess and hard to get to class,” said freshman Kayla Honeycutt who lives in Singular Tower.
Even so, Honeycutt said she is excited about the work taking place in her building because it will put bathrooms in the students’ rooms, “which I think is a really good idea because I hate community bathrooms,” she said.
For senior Lydia Kautz, the most inconvenient part during remodeling in the union was eating upstairs for a whole year while the cafeteria was under construction.
Now that it is over, she said she believes the construction work was worth it. She said the new plants outside have especially caught her eye.
“It’s rather pretty,” Kautz said.
According to Runge, there are two reasons for all the remodeling – current students and potential students.
Junior Adam Petz said he never went into the Memorial Union as a freshman and sophomore, but since the changes, he has already gone there several times.
“It’s a lot more inviting,” Petz said. He noted that this didn’t only benefit current students, but would appeal to visitors as well.
Runge said this is the reason Admissions was moved to the east entrance of the union across from the parking lot.
“What’s the front door of the campus?” asked Runge. “It’s right here at the union…this is your first impression of the campus.”
Gregory Robinson, assistant English professor, said that Emporia State, as a small school compared with other universities, better represents itself with upgrades to its campus.
“It’s a good image of who we are,” Robinson said.
Runge said there will be even more projects coming in the future, but hopes the changes always make students and faculty proud of their campus.