Leading off of Starbucks is the newest courtyard below Milner Plaza. 

Illinois State University has reached the end of Phase One of its Bone Student Center Revitalization Project. 

The Bone Revitalization has been a work-in-progress for the last couple of years. With a budget of about $33 million, reserve funds from the school will pay for the project. This means that no tax money will be used, nor will students compensate the cost with a rise in tuition fees. 

However, with the completion of the first phase of the project, construction workers will begin Phase Two, otherwise known as the “Quiet Phase” of the project. 

Phase Two of the project will focus directly on the “behind the scenes” work. This phase will not be as visible as the work done during Phase One, meaning that guests won’t see much of the work being done. 

“The primary focus of phase two will be relocating the catering kitchen to the first floor and then renovating the vacated catering kitchen on the second floor to accommodate other offices,” ISU Assistant Director of Marketing, Training and Hospitality Erin Watts said. 

Watts has managed the project since the beginning. A substantial amount of changes that students could see occurred during Phase One. Changes included enhancing the east and west building entrances, and while the east entrance is not officially opened yet, Watts said once warmer temperatures start to stick around, concrete work can be completed around the entrance. 

Another update that occurred in Phase One was the renovation of the Brown Ballroom and the addition of a foyer to accommodate pre-function activities. Alongside this, the project completed a three-story addition on the west side, which created a new front door for the Bone Student Center and the Atrium on the third floor, a shared space for the Office of Admissions and Event Management, Dining and Hospitality. 

The first phase also relocated the Barnes and Noble ISU Bookstore to the first floor of the building. The Lobby shop was also relocated to the east side of the first floor along with a new Starbucks. The Landing, which will replace the Lobby Shop, will open in June. The addition of Qdoba to the second floor has been one of the most viable changes for students looking to grab a bite in the Bone. 

Lastly, Phase One ended with updating the courtyard space and adding access to the Bone from Milner Plaza. Those navigating ISU's campus will have an easier time getting to class without construction of the space getting in the way, which may be the most impactful change for students thus far. 

“Moving forward, we are excited to open the east side of the building and see students and guests using the new and renovated spaces throughout the Bone Student Center in the ways we’ve planned for so many years now,” Watts said regarding the progress of the project. 

As Phase Two gets underway, this portion of the project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2019.

MIKE SMITH is a News Reporter for The Vidette. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Agora_180

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