After a busy summer, the McMaster University Student Centre renovations are finally complete.
Construction began on May 2, and primarily focused on the Mills Plaza entrance as well as the North Quad stairs. The west wing of MUSC expanded further into Mills Plaza and converted from a corridor to a lounge.
The main purpose of the renovations was to increase seating in MUSC in addition to reducing traffic congestion around these two areas. The renovations were slated to add about 125 seats to MUSC, most of which are concentrated in the lounge built in front of the Starbucks in MUSC.
They also added another staircase leading to the Arts Quad meant to reduce congestion in that area.
The projected cost of the renovations was about $1.5 million, which were covered by excess MUSC reserves.
When MUSC was first built, the MSU collected a small fee from students to pay the mortgage over time, and the sudden influx of students following the elimination of the OAC year in 2003 caused a surplus which was transferred to MUSC and placed in a capital fund.
Student reactions to the new space have largely been positive. The new lounge in front of Starbucks is particularly popular with students due to its open-air concept and comfortable seating.
“I think this is going to make MUSC an easier place to hang out, especially during exams. There was so much empty space before and this is a lot more student-friendly,” said Dev Shields, a third-year English and Cultural Studies student.
The new renovations have come just in time for the new generation of McMaster students, who are enjoying their new home base.
“I really like the MUSC, it’s great aesthetically, there’s a lot of great spots for students to meet up or wind down,” said Megh Rathod, a first-year Integrated Sciences student.
Some students have their reservations about the layout of MUSC, though.
“The new student centre is really aesthetically pleasing but the changes also seem really inconvenient for some people. I feel the traffic will really increase because of the extra space for people to meet up and sell textbooks. It also feels like certain practices will have to change such as tabling for clubs during Clubs and during the year,” pointed out Cindy Lam, a fourth-year Social Work student.
“I enjoy the reconstruction of the space, however, the layout and design of the furniture are not up to my standards,” said Susie Ellis, a third-year Communications and Multimedia student.
The main complaint is towards the colour scheme chosen for the booth and couches, which are currently blue and orange, respectively.
Overall, the new renovations bode well for improving student life on campus, as well as improving campus traffic and revitalise the atmosphere in MUSC.