New Marshall Center to open on schedule

The construction of the new Phyllis P. Marshall Center is still on schedule, despite possible cuts to its estimated operational budget.

The center is projected to cost about three times more in utilities to operate than the current one, said Marshall Center Director Joe Synovec. At 235,000 square feet, the new center is more than twice as big as the current one, which is 106,000 square feet.

This larger budget will probably be cut, but it is unclear by how much, he said.

“What I say every night when I go to bed (is): ‘Why this year?'” Synovec said.

When President Judy Genshaft proposed budget cuts May 22, she said one action the University will take is to close down the campus, excluding the new Marshall Center and the Library, after dark. However, no other plans were made for the Marshall Center at that time.

“We will have to manage more effectively,” Synovec said.

There are no budget cuts for the center’s construction, which is going on 12 hours a day, seven days a week to stay on schedule, Synovec said. The center is projected to be open for staff July 24, and the time between then and the official opening will be used for moving things from the previous center to the new one. The building officially opens Aug. 20, as that is the day on-campus students can move into the residence halls, Synovec said. The auditorium, however, is scheduled to open Sept. 15.

The new center will offer new services for students, including a pharmacy and a Student Life Tower.

Student Health Services (SHS) will have a pharmacy in the retail quadrant of the building. Students can get SHS prescriptions filled there and staff can get prescriptions from their personal doctors filled. The pharmacy will take all insurance plans, Synovec said, and offer over-the-counter medicines.

The Student Life Tower is a prominent structure of the building, a tall green tower that will stand on the building’s north side. It will house many student organizations, including Student Government (SG), the Center for Student Involvement and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

SG President Gregory Morgan said he thinks the new Marshall Center will help bring students together, especially with the Student Life Tower. He has walked through the unfinished building twice.

“Whereas right now you have Greek Life in the basement, WBUL is in the basement, Student Government is on the second floor – it is (very) scattered,” he said. “(In the new building), if any student – whether freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student, doctoral student, it doesn’t matter – if they want to get involved in something they know right away where to go – it is going to be the whole tower.”

Morgan said there will be a HYPE office in the tower, sponsored by SG. Student organizations will be able to use the office to make fliers and banners to promote themselves.

“It’s aimed to help student organizations and just regular students who want to promote events around campus – instead of going out to Kinkos or ProCopy to do their kind of marketing stuff, to kind of keep it in-house,” he said.

The HYPE office will have graphic designers and support staff available to help. It also will cover some of the marketing aspects the Center for Student Involvement covers, Morgan said.

The new Marshall Center will also have more restaurants than the old one. The following restaurants have been confirmed: Sbarro, Chick-fil-A, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Bleecker Street Deli, Sushi and Noodle Bar, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Ben & Jerry’s, On the Palms and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.