Four and a half years after it opened, the Ohio Union is in the process of getting repairs expected to cost $1 million, a Student Life spokesman said.
And the most dramatic repairs are right below students’ feet.
“The largest renovation project is the repair of the terrazzo (floor tiles) in parts of the Ohio Union,” Student Life spokesman David Isaacs said in an email.
The renovations began in May and Isaacs said Sept. 10 that they are expected to be complete within the month.
Isaacs did not immediately respond to a Sept. 24 email asking for an exact completion date.
As for the floor, Isaacs said there had been issues.
“We were not happy with the installation of the original terrazzo and how it was wearing,” Isaacs said.
The university is currently working with the surety company to determine how much of the repair cost will be covered by insurance, Isaacs said.
In recent years, a roof repair was needed and the cost was entirely covered by the surety company, he said.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website, a surety company makes sure the contractor on a project fulfills their obligations and compensates the project owner if it was unsuccessful.
The tile renovations led to a section of the Ohio Union being blocked off. The caution tape around the newly-repaired tile made the main staircase, which leads to the basement and second floor, unaccesible..
Flagpoles are also being added to the front of the building, Isaacs said in an email on Sept. 10.
Some students said they were not affected by the repairs.
“I just noticed the floor at the beginning, but it didn’t affect me at all,” Brenna Fellows, a second-year in industrial engineering,said.
Lizzy Nix works at the front desk of the Ohio Union and said she saw that some passersby noticed the renovations and seemed curious.
“They’ve asked what’s going on but I haven’t seen any positive or negative reactions. They’re just asking,” said Nix, a second-year in business.
With the amount of activity at the Union on a day-to-day basis, repairs are a necessity, Isaacs said.
“The Ohio Union is approximately 5 years old, and when you have more than 1 million visitors and 22,000 events per year, it is important to keep up the building,” he said.
Although the Union sees a lot of action, Taylor Beirne, a third-year in nursing, and Marisa Licari, a third-year in psychology, said they didn’t notice any problems with the flow of traffic as “people just went around” the caution tape on the floors.
Isaacs said these might be the only repairs for a while.
“While there are no projects scheduled to begin in the near future, we are always mindful of wear and tear,” Isaacs said.
The Ohio Union opened on March 27, 2010, and cost $118 million. Initial planning for the new building began in 2002, according to the Ohio Union website.