By Dylan Coil
A plan to remodel the Pence Union Building (PUB) halted at the end of last school year with the transfer of planning duties to new management.
Last spring saw the loss of two key proponents of the PUB remodel: former Dean of Students Al Thompson and former ASEWU Executive Vice President Stacey Butler. With the start of this school year came the decision of whether or not to continue progress made over the last two years.
“We lost everyone who was, essentially, the key movers of the PUB renovation,” said Clem Bustamante, current ASEWU executive vice president. “[Butler and Thompson] were really the driving forces behind it.”
When Bustamante took over Butler’s position this year, he had to decide if he would continue her work on the PUB remodel, which might be too big of a task, Bustamante said.
“Renovation of a building this magnitude is pretty intense. It’s not something that can be done in a year,” said Bustamante. “I’m concerned about taking it on by myself because I only have one year left and I’m graduating.”
Over the past two years, Butler and Thompson brainstormed ideas for a renovation based on union buildings from other state universities in Washington and put out a student survey last spring to gather ideas.
According to Bustamante, a renovation to the PUB came about due to a number of maintenance issues that will be addressed regardless of whether or not the basic design of the PUB is changed.
Bustamante has been working with Vice President of Student Affairs Stacey Morgan Foster in deciding what direction the PUB renovation will take.
According to Bustamante, if they decide to carry on with a full remodel, Morgan Foster advocates the development of a master plan that can be taken on by future student government leaders, something that Butler failed to do before graduating.
“We’re essentially starting from scratch,” said Bustamante. “We need to get interest from younger generations to, hopefully, take on a master plan.”