UW-Eau Claire's new W.R. Davies Student Center will open for business at 8 a.m. Monday, July 30. Building hours for the rest of the summer will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and hours during the academic year will be from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
"We are grateful to all the students who have made this building possible," said Dr. Beth Hellwig, vice chancellor for student affairs. "In addition, thanks go out to everyone who has contributed to planning, designing and constructing the new W.R. Davies Student Center — our new campus living room."
Interim Chancellor Gilles Bousquet and student body president Cory Fish will enter the new student center at 8 a.m. July 30 as the building's first official visitors. Bousquet and Fish will be on hand near the Service Center to make some initial comments and greet students, faculty and staff. They will proceed to The Cabin, where they will be the first customers to order coffee.
Access to the building should be via the southeast entrance, which faces the Phillips parking lot, or the northwest entrance, which can be reached via a north-south sidewalk that runs to the west of the Old Library and McIntyre Library
The facility's opening will be a "soft opening," meaning some services will still be limited and finishing work will continue throughout the building.
The Service Center, University Bookstore and University Centers offices will be open July 30. Limited food service consisting of "grab and go" fare, including coffee and other beverages, sandwiches and salads, will be available in The Cabin. Additional food venues will open over the next few weeks, the U.S. Bank office is expected to open Aug. 7, and U.S. Bank and RCU ATMs will be available soon.
Student-led tours of the new building will be offered July 30-Aug. 3. Tours, which will last from one hour to 90 minutes, will depart from the Service Center at 10 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily. No advance reservations are needed. Individuals planning to take a tour are asked to wear closed-toe shoes for safety reasons, as final construction work continues in some parts of the building.
"We thank people for their patience during our soft opening," said Charles Farrell, director of University Centers. "People will see some finishing touches and other work still going on and furniture arriving in some areas in the coming weeks. Our plan is to be up and fully ready to go by residence hall move-in day on August 30."
A student celebration of the building's opening is being planned for the start of the fall semester, and an official ribbon-cutting and grand opening event will be held during UW-Eau Claire's homecoming weekend in late September.