Wednesday, April 24, 2024

MSU to renovate Berkey Hall classrooms and MSU Union dining area

March 21, 2024
Students make their way into Berkey Hall on the first day of classes of the Spring semester at MSU on Jan. 8, 2024. This is the first day Berkey Hall has been opened for students since the mass shooting from Feb. 13, 2023
Students make their way into Berkey Hall on the first day of classes of the Spring semester at MSU on Jan. 8, 2024. This is the first day Berkey Hall has been opened for students since the mass shooting from Feb. 13, 2023 —
Photo by Audrey Richardson | and Audrey Richardson The State News

MSU is set to begin renovations of Berkey Hall and the MSU Union in the coming weeks, according to a campus-wide email sent out Thursday afternoon.

The plans include a renovation of the first floor of the north wing in Berkey Hall and the former food court in the MSU Union. The email adds that the plans resulted from conversations with “trauma-informed experts” as well as with people directly impacted by the Feb. 13 campus shooting.

“Design teams for each location worked closely with trauma-informed experts as part of the planning process,” the email reads. “Importantly, directly impacted families and individuals were provided opportunities to review plans and offer feedback.”

The renovation in Berkey Hall will begin April 1 and will be worked on exclusively from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. so as not to disturb people working in the building. Beginning in the summer, the building will be closed for classes while work continues, according to the Spartans Together website which has updates on the renovations.

The plans for Berkey Hall include a reconfiguration of “impacted and surrounding classrooms” into an open space for students to gather, small-group meeting rooms, a reflection room and a personal health room. The remaining classrooms will be repurposed to serve as space for the College of Social Science Scholars program and as administrative offices for the College of Social Science.

Additionally, work that had been planned for Berkey Hall before the shooting will be moved up to align with work being done this summer. The renovations are expected to be completed by fall 2024.

The plan also specifies that the MSU Union’s food court area, which had been closed since Feb. 13, 2023, will be modernized while “maintaining a space that provides a peaceful setting for individuals to gather, engage, relax, study or socialize.”

Beginning March 25, that area will be walled off and construction will start with goals to complete the renovation by June 2024. The email adds that demolition work in the area will occasionally create loud noises disruptive to some students.

The email concludes by stating more information on both projects can be found at the Spartans Together website.

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