In 2008, after an $86 million renewal, the gleaming glass and fresh brick of the new CUB will serve as a beacon to the central Pullman campus. Paid for through lease revenues and student fees, the building will be geared more than ever toward student needs — but renewal also will end some long-standing relationships with faculty and staff.
The Regency Room, bowling alley and CUB Hotel were eliminated in the renewal plans due to lost revenues and decreased usage in recent years, said Gerald Marczynski, associate vice president of student affairs. Instead, the new CUB will feature commercial food chains in an upstairs food court and a ground-level, sports-themed, self-serve restaurant.
The University Club, a members-only gourmet eatery, is set to open spring 2006 in Todd Hall as an upscale substitute for the Regency Room.
Pool tables and commercial gaming systems dispersed throughout the CUB will replace the bowling alley, and local hotels will provide accommodations.
Despite the absence of these CUB employers, no staff jobs will be lost. All WSU employees will be relocated to alternate dining centers, custodial posts and offices during the interim period and may reapply for available CUB positions once the building reopens, Marczynski said.
Some established conveniences have committed to returning to the CUB, while others have not finalized plans. The CougarCard Center and credit union will return; however, the post office, Carlos Hair Studio and Cougar Copies are still negotiating space.
While the renewal project marks the end of some traditional CUB offerings, new features will provide different options. In addition to increased food choices, The Bookie will open shop on three levels, the ballroom will be expanded to hold 100 more people and new retailers are expected to fill vacancies.
To match its contemporary offerings, the CUB will undergo an extensive physical facelift. Planned architectural changes include:
• an exterior elevator extending from the football field area to the top floor of the CUB, providing easy northside access;
• an open central area through all floors to allow natural light on all levels;
• exposed ceilings for a more spacious feel; and
• more inviting entryways and lounge areas.
Parking will remain unchanged; increased traffic flow will be directed to parking garages in the CUE, library and fine arts buildings.
Current exterior images are just concepts, not designs, Marczynski said. Finalization of exterior designs is expected in January.
Kelly Brantner, marketing director for the CUB, said internal upgrades of the building also mark significant change. New conference rooms will feature advanced audio visual equipment and air conditioning. Recycling stations will be built in. Electrical, technological and plumbing features will be updated.
“Some of the most critical aspects of the renewal will be not be very visible to people,” Brantner said.
In January, move-out will begin and continue through the spring in preparation for renovation. Most businesses, offices and meeting rooms will relocate on campus for the two-year period. The credit union, post office and hair salon will be located in the Washington Street Building (formerly the hospital). Cougar Copies will move to the Holland and Terrell Libraries, the CougarCard Center to Smith Gym, the Image Shop to the administration annex, and offices to various campus buildings.
Accommodations for displaced events are in the works.
John Cory, associate director of the CUB, said CUB catering and scheduling services will provide the main point of contact for individuals seeking event venues and catering after Dec. 1. Though most small-scale events will be relocated on campus, off-campus venues will be considered for large conferences and catered affairs.
“We simply won’t have the abilities to handle the volume of large events,” Cory said.
One potential off-campus event site will be Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. The engineering firm plans to construct a 20,000-square-foot event center to be open to public and university use in October 2006.
Susan Fagen, director of government relations at SEL, Inc., said the firm is working with WSU to accommodate scheduled events and bring new event opportunities to town.
“We look forward to providing that service to the campus, especially when the CUB is shut down,” Fagen said.
Official closure of the CUB is May 7.
For more information about event scheduling during the interim period, contact Amy Gibson at 335-3570 or Neil Manning at 335-3578.