The $95 Million EMU Renovation and Why Students Are Concerned

By: Rachel Ibanez

A cardboard rendering of the EMU shows the architectural changes

A cardboard rendering of the EMU shows the architectural changes

EUGENE,Ore- In the spring of 2016 the University of Oregon’s student union, Erb Memorial Union, will be renovated into an open and sustainable building that will comfortably serve 24,000 students. The renovation plans to bring a pub, a multipurpose theater, and will provide more space to the 250 student groups on campus.

Built in the 1950s and added onto in the 1970s, the EMU has functionality and design problems. Students complain that it is difficult to navigate and is too small. This disjointedness is the driving force behind the renovation.

While the repairs may sound ideal for students, many are worried about the costs of the restoration. Starting in the fall of 2014, students will be charged $67 per quarter to help cover the large $95 million budget of the new EMU. University of Oregon student Breanne Schnell said, “In some ways it could be good because the EMU is unorganized but at the same time it will raise tuition.”

The construction sites show images of what the new EMU will look like

The construction sites show images of what the new EMU will look like

There are also concerns about the construction that will last two years. Allyx Pershing, an EMU employee, is disappointed that the renovation will force her to find a new job. She said, “As a student I have to pay fees and find a way to pay the bills.”

However, some students are more excited than others. Senior Natalya Jenney likes the fact that the new renovation will be very sustainable and that the designers seem to want to make the EMU a comfortable space for students to spend time in.

While on the surface the new EMU seems like it will be a great improvement to the University, many students worry about the financial burden they face.

Get more information and images on the New Emu here!

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