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Bone Student Center revitalization project begins

drawing of the Bone Student Center with revitalization completed

A rendering of the revitalized Bone Student Center .

The Bone Student Center is often called Illinois State University’s “living room.” The campus hub sees 5,000 visitors daily, and hosts more than 4,500 events throughout the year.

This living room is getting a much-needed new look as construction begins on a revitalization project for the 44-year-old building.

“The revitalization will transform the Bone Student Center into an enticing doorway to campus,” said Director of Event Management, Dining and Hospitality Bill Legett. “New entrances will provide a more welcoming environment, and an exciting interior design will add more natural light and open seating for all.”

The Bone will remain open throughout the three phases of construction, which is slated for completion by 2020. “Staff are strongly committed to minimizing disruptions during the phases of construction,” noted Legett.

Updates on construction will be posted weekly at the Bone Student Center revitalization page, as well as on the Bone’s social media accounts on Facebook, @ISUBone; Instagram, @EventsandFoodatISU; and Twitter, @EventsFoodISU.

Financing for the $33 million revitalization came primarily from 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,” said Legett. “We did this the old-fashioned way. We saved for it.”

During the first phase of construction, face-lifts are planned for the north and west entrances. The Brown Ballroom will also be renovated during a portion of this phase, adding portable walls to enable division of the room when needed.  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 two will include the relocation of the catering kitchen from the second floor to the first floor, and the renovation of the vacated catering kitchen to accommodate the Dean of Students offices, the Student Involvement Center, and Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality administrative offices.

Phase three will further renovate the vacated second floor catering kitchen into a three-venue food court.

At present, the fully revitalized Bone Student Center will have six dining venues, with three on the first floor and three on the second. The first floor will house a second campus Starbucks, McAlister’s Deli, and a full-scale convenience store with fresh food served daily. Plans are in the works for second-floor venues, including a grill, and restaurants with Asian and Tex-Mex cuisine.

For additional information, visit the Bone Student Center revitalization page.

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