The Union at Ole Miss is a popular spot for many students on campus. Ranging from a study spot, a place to eat, or somewhere to grab a T-shirt on campus, the Union has it all for students.
In effort to augment student experience, the university decided to expand the Union closing it off last December.
Once students left for Christmas break in 2016, the university began construction on the Union. The building was not torn down, but the inside was completely gutted to create a new atmosphere.
The project is estimated to take four years, resulting in a 50 million dollars spent on creating more space and a new variety of restaurants.
People on the reconstruction committee for the Union have dedicated themselves to making the Union similar to other universities. The committee spent years studying other universities to see what their students enjoyed and wanted to add.
One school in particular the board looked at was Auburn University, where they studied their student Union to use as a model for the reconstruction.
Before the Union closed, they had a variety of restaurants. Because of the construction, many students had a limited menu.
One side of the Union opened this fall about a month after students arrived on campus. The food court moved to the back of the Union, facing Crosby dorm.
In addition to improving the inside of the Union, the university also improved its food selections, replacing Subway with Which Which and adding a McAllister’s to the second floor.
Jerrod Ham, the Union’s food service manager of the Union, said he’s noticed an increase in business since construction of the food court was completed.
“Since we opened in the fall, McAlister’s holds a majority of our business, along with Chick Fil A, which was popular before the reconstruction,” he said.
The rest of the project won’t be completed until the fall of 2018. Although it may seem like an inconvenience now, the project is all about making the Union a nicer place for both the students and university.