University Union gets an overdue makeover

Samantha Moreno

The University Union got a makeover this summer including new furnishings to replace the 38 year old couches. Just think of all the stains and spills from stressed students on that worn out furniture.

The Union is one of the many buildings on campus students go to when they are not in class. It provides plenty of room to study, a place to grab a bite to eat, play a game of pool or just sit back and relax.

The board of directors from Union Well Inc. started work in May. With the renovations, students can see a difference in updated furniture all through the three story building to provide students with a more attractive and user- friendly environment. Our student Union was way overdue for some love.

The improvements consist of lounge furniture replacement, electrical outlets, updated Hornet’s Nest food court, carpeting, lighting, meeting room tables, bottle filling stations and hand dyers.

One of the biggest changes made was the Hornet’s Nest. The cost of the renovations came to a total of $592,677.71.

“It doesn’t seem very affordable when you’re looking at how much stuff costs, but when you’re talking about how something that’s going to withstand 17,000-18,000 students a day Monday through Friday coming through here and holding up, it’s a lot of maintenance involved,” Director of the University Union, Dean Sorensen said.

The Hornet’s Nest has new vinyl tile flooring, primary and accent lighting, a partial drop ceiling, wall surface materials, furniture and a new color scheme. All changes are intended to fulfill a level of illumination, comfort and a modern style dining experience.

“I’ve already been told by many people that it looks a lot different; it’s practically like a whole new building,” Sorensen said. “To be able to achieve that by making a few decor projects instead of tearing something down and rebuilding it makes it a lot more affordable.”

Senior Communication Studies major Alejandra Rubio works at the information desk and heard the renovations happening right behind her station.

“The main thing I noticed was the new furniture and more tables on the second and third,” Rubio said. “The previous furniture was looking a bit old.”

The furniture replacement was a total of $282,657.81. Aging furniture, some dated back to purchase dates of 1976, were replaced on all 3 floors in the lounges and hallways.

Rubio utilizes the computers on the second floor of the Union for studying. “I think the tables against the walls will help students who are studying alone, so they don’t have to take up a whole table when groups have to study,” Rubio said.

Senior Kinesiology major Chris Elias has been a student at Sac State for seven years and spends more than enough time in the Union studying and taking time to relax when he’s not in class.

“I like the new couches” Elias said. “The old ones had so many stains and needed to be updated.”

The fireplace lounge was an area Elias enjoyed studying in, but with the new improvements made, he won’t be hanging out there much. Before, there was a large staircase but was replaced with new high top tables and chairs—making the area look a lot smaller.

“There should be spots to relax on campus and it bugs me that they took that [black staircase area] out of the fireplace lounge,” Elias said.

Some students are asking where the money is coming from for such immense renovations. Fortunately, the money for the new carpet, lighting, furniture and Hornet Nest Food Court is coming from a fund that started by Sacramento State Alumni in the 1970’s.

“By utilizing this older fund, we are able to hold off on raising fees in the current economic environment, without forsaking customer service and the building features that students have come to rely on in the Union over the years,” Sorensen said.