Getting in on the ground floor

BY GRACE PATERAS | MAY 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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The soon-to-come reopening of the IMU ground floor will offer students something a little different, including expanded academic opportunities.

The grand opening, set for June 1, will mostly open the facility but a few things will still be settling in, said Cory Lockwood, the IMU associate director of event and facility operations.

Approximately 500 people — mostly students — have toured the ground floor, and they say the new IMU will add something new to campus.

Last week, a group of tour guides walked around as they planned their updated tour routes to begin June 1.

“[After seeing the space], now I can understand why it was the center of campus, because there’s so much space to use,” UI senior Shelsey Monroy said. “It’ll be exciting to see the student union and people in it like it used to be.”

One perk of the new center will allow students to walk in and get free hands-on tutoring for around 20 courses this fall.

They will also get to pick among numerous rooms of seating, including one dedicated to quiet study with an ITC lab.

Another academic resource, Study, Workshops and Tutoring, is changing its name as it moves to the ground floor.

It will now be known as Academic Resource Center and will be located near the main entrance to the ground floor.

“They get pushed around a lot, so they were something we saw as a good fit,” Lockwood said.

IMU employees proposed a two-year agreement for that center to use the space, but Lockwood said it could be more long-term.

Currently, it is a program that grows every year, so it can’t find a space to settle in because it will outgrow it, said Stephanie Preschel of Academic Support and Retention.

“[Benefits of moving to a new location include] space and a central location we can put most of our programs in and provide academic support so students know this is where they go,” Preschel said. “It’s always going to be in one location.”

There will also be abundant food options inside a food court with branded cuisines such as Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich shop and Godfather’s pizza.

Other options include an Asian food setup, a grill, and a salad bar.

From there, students can bring their meals to the Hawkeye Room, which holds an additional concession area, with pretzels and nachos.

The Hawkeye Room, once completed, will look like a sports bar, Lockwood said.

The coffee shop on the ground floor will not open on June 1.

Neither will the outdoor patio, but both are expected to be ready for the fall semester.

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