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Ole Miss Student Union reopening delayed

By Edwin Smith

University of Mississippi

As University of Mississippi students return to campus for the fall semester, the reopening of the expanded Ole Miss Student Union has been unexpectedly delayed.

The facility will be operational later than its originally scheduled reopening on Monday, UM administrators said.

“The project team is working diligently to ensure the opening of this building maintains the standard of excellence that our university family expects and deserves,” said Chad Hunter, associate university architect. “We will update everyone as we get closer to the opening date.”

To accommodate food service for faculty and staff, Ole Miss Dining will extend hours of operation in all its dining locations, including the temporary options offered since January.

“I am disappointed about the delay in opening the Student Union,” said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Vice-Chancellor for student affairs. “It was a hard decision, but the correct one.

“We want to provide students the best experience at Ole Miss, and prematurely opening the building would have disappointed them much more than waiting for a completely finished product.”

The Student Union is being renovated in two phases that will expand the facility from 97,000 square feet to 157,000 square feet. Phase 1, which is opening soon, will include both familiar and new food vendors.

“Previous staples will return, including Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Qdoba, but we are especially excited to welcome Which Wich and McAlister’s Deli,” said Bradley Baker, Student Union director. “McAlister’s will be located on the second floor and will serve as a stand-alone restaurant. The other dining options will be located on the first floor of the building.”

Also, a transit center will open on the lowest level of the Student Union, allowing students to wait for OUT buses in air conditioning and out of the weather.

With the renovation ongoing and all work expected to be complete in 2019, several offices have moved temporarily. They include the:

Office of Leadership and Advocacy (formerly Office of the Dean of Students) to Minor Hall, Room B05E

Associated Student Body and Black Student Union offices to Minor Hall, Room B05A

Office of Fraternity Leadership & Learning (including the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and College Panhellenic Association) to Minor Hall, Room B05C

Ole Miss Student Union, Student Activities Association and the Ole Miss Big Event offices to Lester Hall, Room 210

Block meals will be available at the Rebel Market, the Marketplace at the Residential College, breakfast or lunch at the Grill at 1810 or an $8 equivalent of menu items at Freshii, Chick-fil-A Mobile and P.O.D. Mobile.