The Reitz Union has been a staple for students since it was built in 1967. It has seen many additions and renovations through its time, but now the old Reitz Union will be completely redone.
The $75 million project is being funded partially by you, the students. The rest of the money is coming from bonds, loans and investments. It took months to secure the funds. In fact, UF needed approval from the state government to use some of the money.
Since getting approval, proponents for the Make it Reitz campaign hit the ground running, and construction began this summer.
The latest project updates have been closing the colonnade and the south terrace. People who want to enter the union must go through the UF Bookstore, Subway on the north side or at the circle drive, according to the Make it Reitz Twitter account.
The leaders of the campaign believe the renovation and expansion will add more space for student needs. The expansion will add 100,000 square feet for offices and rooms to accommodate the 980 student organizations that use the student union as a port. It will have a new Center for Leadership and Service, in addition to adding a multilevel structure for Student Government and multicultural facilities.
The expansion will also include adding a GatorWell Health Promotion Services in the union and more space for the Department of Student Activities and Involvement, according to the website.
The Orange & Brew, which is located outside the Reitz Union near the amphitheater, will also be redesigned.
The project isn’t expected to be finished until Fall 2015. Therefore, construction will be going on for a while. However, throughout the process the Reitz Union will stay open.
“Renovation and expansion projects are inherently disruptive, but the design team will strive to minimize the impact on daily activities. Sections of the Reitz Union will remain open and programs, services and facilities will continue to be available,” Vice President for Student Affairs Dave Kratzer wrote on the Make it Reitz website. “Reitz Union and Student Activities and Involvement staff members are dedicated to making every effort to continue service at the highest levels throughout the project.”
The head designer of the project had previously said that the contractor plans to work during the weekends and late afternoons to try to minimize distraction for students.
This story originally ran on page 5 on 8/14/2013 under the headline "New $75m Reitz Union will be completed in Fall 2015"
A rendering from the Make it Reitz website shows the proposed new Reitz Union Colonnade from the south side of Liberty Pond. Construction started in Summer 2013, is expected to cost about $75 million and should last for the next two years.