After 30 years, the Kirby Student Center on UMD’s campus is set for a complete makeover. Architects met with various on-campus groups and heard input from the student body, and as a result, the plan is set to transform Kirby into a cohesive center for all students to enjoy.
“We wanted to create a better flow of the floor and bring everything together. It is a complete redo,” said Jeni Eltink, Director of the Kirby Student Center.
Everything from the lounge to the ballroom to the Greek Life building—a total of 15,000 square feet—is being stripped down and renovated. In all, there will be a 185 percent increase in space throughout the entire building.
The main theme of Kirby’s new design revolves around the flow of its parts. Right now, Kirby is divided into many different sections. The new Kirby is going to be designed to promote cohesiveness and interaction among students—something that many students say it currently lacks.
Instead of simply being a place where people walk through, Kirby is predicted to be the campus’s main student center. The new plan includes a sleek new floor plan complete with new furniture, a central fireplace, and a stage for live performances. (See visuals of the renovation plan below!)
The first phase of the renovation is already underway with certain areas, such as The Underground, closed until the renovation is complete. During the renovation, Kirby faculty, staff and other departmental staff housed in the stretch of Heller Hall to the bookstore are relocating to Griggs Center.
A schedule of closures leading up to the renovation has been set and is as follows:
Monday, April 22: Kirby Lounge closes and demolition begins
Friday, May 17: Kirby staff complete relocation to Griggs Center
Tuesday, May 21: UMD Catering staff relocate to Griggs Center
Wednesday, May 22: The hallways from Heller Hall to the lower level bookstore closes until the end of project
Friday, August 2: Substantial project completion
Stay updated on how the renovation is going by visiting the Kirby Student Center Renovation website. Here, you can see visuals of the renovation, find answers to frequently asked questions, and more!