Purple-and-orange accent squares on brand new carpet with shiny new furniture in the Comet CafÃ© are part of a $180,000 Student Union (SU) face-lift that will continue into next year.
The current renovations include new carpet, painted walls, wall coverings and plastered ceilings in the Comet CafÃ© and Galaxy rooms. The Comet CafÃ© also has new flooring and furniture.
And there’s more. $50,000 is slated for lighting later this year and another $70,000 is budgeted for the 2005 fiscal year from student union fees.
“We will be looking at some additional lighting for the Galaxy Rooms, followed by decorator touches throughout the building, as budget allows,” said Donna Rogers, associate dean of students. “We will eventually bring the almond-colored paint into all of the areas, replace carpet as necessary, spruce up the meeting rooms behind the Comet CafÃ© and replace and upgrade furniture.”
With a focus on the common areas, carpeting the offices is a low priority, said Phyllis Blanck, director of the Student Union.
It is still uncertain when the renovations will be complete, but for the moment, the design group is looking at how to finance the future renovations.
The collaborative design effort included Blanck, Rogers and an outside designer. The SU decoration committee and SGA officers also are contributing.
“I love bringing color into the building, brightening it up,” Blanck said. “(The renovation) brings spirit into the building.”
“I love the renovations. I think that they bring warmth and a sense of style to the SU that should make it a more pleasant environment for the students.”
Selected through UTD’s competitive bid process, Turjac hired to do the construction.
Construction began the week of Thanksgiving and was completed during the winter break, except for decorative tile to be added to the columns of the Comet Cafe, Blanck said.
This phase should be complete in February, Rogers added.
The student portraits on the walls will be re-hung and updated. Graphic artwork will also be added to the walls; suggestions and ideas are welcome, Blanck said.
Upon returning from break, many students reacted positively to the new look.
“It’s pretty neat. Much better than it used to be,” said Abhijeet Bhutra, computer science junior. “I like the idea that we can eat as well as watch people playing pool.”
“I like the tables because they are low and easy to write on,” said Erica Nguyen, biochemistry junior. “The carpeting is very relaxing; I like the mood.”