It’s construction season at Memorial Union!
By Jacklyn John, Memorial Union Reinvestment project coordinator
After years of planning for the first phase of the Memorial Union Reinvestment project, construction has finally begun.
The first phase of the Memorial Union Reinvestment project focuses mainly on Memorial Union’s west wing, and partition walls have been built on every floor to block the rest of the building from the impact of construction. While construction crews will be hard at work on one side of the partition walls over the next two years, visitors to Memorial Union will still be able to enjoy all of the dining options and activities on the other side with little disruption.
Despite all of the construction action at Memorial Union this summer, fans of the Union Terrace were happy to learn that construction fences on the north side of the building along the lake would not go up until after Labor Day, so Union members can relax all summer long on the Terrace with little disruption from the construction.
While preparing for the construction this summer, the Wisconsin Union has taken great lengths to protect historic building features from the potential impact of construction. For example, arts conservators from the Midwest Art Conservation Center spent several days in the Paul Bunyan Room in June helping to remove and crate the iconic Paul Bunyan murals. The murals, which were painted in the 1930s by James Watrous, are incredibly fragile and risked being damaged by nearby construction vibration. The murals will be stored off-site along with other historic features and furniture, and will return to Memorial Union once construction is completed to help maintain the Memorial Union character that we know and love.
In celebration of the beginning of construction, the Wisconsin Union will be hosting a Memorial Union Groundbreaking Celebration on Monday, August 27 from 4-6PM. We hope you can join us in celebrating the future of our beloved building!
You can read about the preservation of the Paul Bunyan murals here.
Stay up to day on Memorial Union Reinvestment projects as they happen here.