As the start of the school year is right around the corner, Redbirds will start to flock back to the nest. Illinois State’s Facilities Planning and Construction and CORE have been busy over the summer months putting in work.

Bill Legett, Director of Event Management, Dining and Hospitality said he is very pleased with the progress that has been made on the project. 

“CORE and Illinois State’s Facilities Planning and Construction have both done an outstanding job of keeping the project on schedule,” Legett said. “We’re thrilled to welcome all students back in August and hope they enjoy seeing the progress we’ve made.”

According to Legett, when the 2019-2020 academic year begins, the first floor concourse will open and students will be able to walk throughout the entire concourse. The new east side entrance of the Bone Student Center (with direct access from the parking lot) is expected to open in time for the first day of classes, he said.

Legett explained that students, faculty, staff and guests will be able to enter the Bone Student Center and access Milner Plaza by utilizing the interior stairwell or elevator located just inside the new east entrance.

Expected closures

The Prairie Room will be closed until spring 2020, but the meeting rooms on the first floor, including the Brown Ballroom, will be open and available for bookings by RSOs. 

The exterior grand staircase and ramp leading to Milner Plaza may not open until September.

The center stairwells will also be under construction during the academic year, however, there will always be one stairwell open at all times. The stairwells are scheduled to be completed by the spring semester.

What’s to come

In the spring of 2020, several Dean of Students offices will join Diversity Advocacy by moving to second floor of the Bone Student Center, including Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Activities and Involvement, and University Program Board, Legett said. 

They also anticipate the completion of the revitalization’s third phase, which will include the opening of two new retail venues, a grill and an Asian concept, also on the second floor. The restaurant names will be announced soon. “We are very excited to bring these restaurants to the Bone Student Center,” Legett said. 

They expect the completion of the first floor concourse, including all partner spaces, to be complete by the end of March 2020. This includes the new TechZone, Redbird Card Office, Printing Services and Illinois State Credit Union spaces that will all be located on the first floor.

There is not a timeline set for the work on the second level concourse, which will include the Career Center and several huddle rooms, but they are hopeful to start that project by summer 2020.

GRACE BARBIC is the News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter at @gracebarbic

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