The Bone Student Center Revitalization is almost complete.

The four-year project is expected to be finished in February with the opening of Star Ginger, a Southeast Asian concept restaurant to be located on the second floor; the placement of graphics and signage for new areas on the second floor; and the installation of technology for the new Career Services Resource Hub.

Star Ginger will join McAlister’s Deli and new venues Starbucks, The Landing, Qdoba, and Timbers Grille as food options in the renovated center.

“With the food we really took time to get student feedback in particular, and what is in the Bone now is a direct result of that feedback,” said Erin Watts, assistant director of marketing, training, and hospitality in Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality (EMDH).

Following is an overview of the major changes the Bone Student Center has undergone and its current operating status.

First floor

Illinois State student studies at Starbucks.
The recently opened Starbucks is one of the top spots on the newly renovated first floor.

Each floor in the updated Bone Student Center caters to different aspects of the student experience. The first floor contains the revamped Barnes & Noble-Illinois State University Bookstore, Starbucks, The Landing, TechZone, the Redbird Card office, a satellite location for Printing Services, and the Illinois State Credit Union.

The biggest change, though, might be the new entrance on the east side of the building, which is designed to be the new front door of campus. The newly built exterior spaces lead visitors to the new reception desk and welcome area.

Second floor

Illinois State student studies in the Birds' Nest.
Illinois State students can hang out, study, and grab a bite to eat at the Birds’ Nest.

The second floor houses several units that meet the needs of students. The recently opened Career Services has joined Diversity Advocacy and the Dean of Students’ Offices and Student Involvement Center.

Students can also head to The Birds’ Nest to hang out, study, or grab a bite to eat. The student gathering space includes Qdoba and Timbers Grille, and, soon will be home to Star Ginger.

Third floor

Inside out view of The Atrium on the third floor of the Bone Student Center.
The Atrium features a presentation room with an impressive view of the Quad.

The Atrium occupies the third floor, which also includes a shared space for the Office of Admissions and EMDH.

The Atrium features a presentation room with an impressive view of the Quad, as well as a reception desk and lobby, a seating area with a fireplace, and an outdoor patio. In the evenings, The Atrium can also be used for meetings, events, receptions, and other gatherings that are managed by EMDH’s Event Services and Catering team.

“Our hope is that The Atrium will continue to provide future Redbirds and their families an exceptional, memorable experience while visiting campus,” Watts said.

Keeping Redbirds safe

Student worker in the Bone Student Center standing wearing a mask.
Masks or face coverings are required in the Bone Student Center to keep visitors and staff safe.

The Bone Student Center has resumed its normal hours of 7 a.m.–11 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 10 a.m.–11 p.m. on Sundays during the spring semester while maintaining standards meant to keep visitors and staff healthy and safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All guests must wear a mask or face covering and adhere to the physical-distancing guidelines, as outlined in the Restore Illinois plan. Currently, event sizes are limited, and guidelines will continue to be updated based on the phases put in place by the state of Illinois. EMDH has also enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices, especially in restrooms and other high-contact areas.

“We’re always going to continue to work closely with university leadership, Environmental Health and Safety, the CDC, and the Illinois Department of Public Health,” Watts said. “We will continue to evaluate our practices and follow those guidelines.”

For Watts, the most rewarding aspect of this project has been the overwhelmingly positive response for Illinois State students.

“The students seem really excited and appreciative of the new spaces that have been created in the building and the enhancements,” Watts said. “Even with the COVID-19 restrictions, we feel that the Bone Student Center has become more of a destination for students and the campus community.”

Check out a full tour of the renovated Bone Student Center.