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New Look for Norris

Renovation to ground floor adds Jamba Juice, new furniture and brighter atmosphere.

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September 30, 2009 | by Matt Paolelli

Students returning to Norris University Center for the first time since the spring might have trouble recognizing the place.

Increased lighting, bright orange seats, oversized couches and a new Jamba Juice have revitalized the ground floor of the student center with the hope that more students will eat, study and hang out in the space. The area had been in need of renovation for quite some time, said Rick Thomas, executive director of Norris.

"Two years ago, we unveiled a significant renovation to the Norris Center--a renovated first floor lounge which included the introduction of a Starbucks coffeehouse to the Norris Center and that was a smashing success," Thomas said. "What we heard from students is, 'This is great, now do this in the rest of the building.'"

When funding for a ground floor renovation became available last spring, Thomas held "visioning sessions" to encourage student input. Based on this feedback, Thomas sought to complete a major makeover on a minor budget that would brighten the space and make it more comfortable for students.

Watch the slide show above for a tour of the renovated facilities.

Topics: University