The Carolyn Herrmann Student Union re-opened its doors last Thursday, April 16, at 11 a.m., with an official grand opening to take place Thursday, April 23, from noon to 4 p.m.
After a flood caused by a ruptured water pipe closed the Student Union on Feb 21, the Union and the Laker Inn on the lower floor are now back and fully functional. All the damaged furniture within the building has been replaced.
Most of the insurance claims were overseen by General Manager of Facility Services, Ken Stepherson, whose role was to communicate between the insurance company and contractors, and process invoices for the restoration. Housekeeping Director Julie Kiehl, and Plant Operations Manager Tom Skarupski, monitored progress of the restoration.
“To date, we are at approximately $254,000 for the restoration, there are other expenses for furniture and equipment that I have not seen,” Stepherson said.
Stepherson said he also expects additional invoices to arrive before he can give out a final cost.
According to Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jane Kelsey, it might take several weeks until all the costs incurred are known.
Right after the damages occurred, each area within the offices had to submit with a spread sheet list of the items that needed replacement to submit to insurance.
The areas included Campus Ministry, Service Learning, Student Government and the Students Activities Council (SAC).
The offices have been running since the morning of April 13, but are still expecting shipments of furniture to replace what was lost in the flood.
The repairs included the replacement of the wet drywall on the lower level and the first floor. All the furniture that was made of soft wood was also replaced, including the foosball tables from the Great Room. At the MSG and SAC offices, the furniture and bookshelves also had to be replaced.
The offices from the first floor had the wall between Campus Ministry and Service Learning knocked down to open up the space.
“I think that you are not going to see drastic things that have changed in the area, but I think overall we were able to replace everything that was lost with equal or better products,” said Sarah Allen, director of Campus Involvement.
Mercyhurst Student Government, Campus Involvement and Parkhurst are teaming up to provide games and free prizes at the grand opening.
As part of the celebration, there will be a dunk tank in front of the building. It will offer three chances for a dollar and all the proceeds will go toward the fundraiser for cancer research, Relay for Life, which will take place on Saturday. Among the people who will be found in the dunk tank include Senior General Manager of Parkhurst Dining Services Dean Schoenfeldt, MSG President Nick Latta, and MSG Vice-President Caleb Ohmer.
There will be carnival games and giveaways themed after aquatic items, as a reference to the flooded building. For every purchase, free fish and surf board key chains will be given out. There will also be free life saver candies, water bottles and t-shirts, among various other items. A “Laker Lagoon Punch” will be served at the Laker Inn from noon to 4 p.m. There will also be a Duck Pond, where students will pull rubber ducks off the pond to win prizes.
With facilities now up and running, Mercyhurst students are free to eat meals and use the offices in the Student Union right before the school year ends.
“I am glad that it opened before the end of the year and I think it is great and it gives us more options for eating now. I am also excited that Campus Ministry is back open,” said Andrea Nye, junior Business Management major.
Nhi Tran, junior Finance and Competitive Intelligence major is happy to enjoy her favorite meal once again.
“I am excited, because I can buy sushi.” said Tran.
Aside from the grand opening, future plans of the Student Union include roof work on the north corner of the building above the patio over the summer.