Project File: Students help fund upgrade

Busch Student Center, part of the St. Louis University campus, has been upgraded to include many amenities that students had been requesting for some time. The desire for improvements was so great that students voted to tax themselves $50 per semester to help pay for the upgrade, resulting in a $3 million contribution to the $22 million project.

The new student center offers a wireless environment for computers in many parts of the building. It hosts a variety of retail and food-service venues not previously available on campus, as well as a large, comfortable commuter student lounge and upgraded facilities for its original tenants.

Color is everywhere in the new center. Columns at the main entrance are vivid green. Walls and other surfaces boast shades such as electric blue, dark rose and grape. A mix of soft color and curved lines add an inviting feel to the entrance of the center.

The focal point of the center is a concave curtainwall in the two-story atrium. The glass wall overlooks a picturesque courtyard and waterfall, and connects the building to the campus' main circulation spine.

The facility also has amenities that can be used by the community, providing revenue opportunities for the university. A large multipurpose room can serve as a ballroom, seating 1,000 to 1,600 people. Rooms, complete with audiovisual capabilities, also can be divided into four separate breakout rooms seating 400 each.

The architect for this project is Mackey Mitchell Associates (St. Louis).

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