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Photos: Inside the New Memorial Union

By Cody Kitaura/Dateline on April 25, 2017 in University

After two years of construction, UC Davis’ signature lounge is ready to reopen this coming Monday (May 1).

Furniture is going in and crews are putting the finishing touches on the $23.5 million renovation project, which was delayed by surprises like features that didn’t match schematics.

A grand opening event is scheduled for noon Thursday, May 18.

The Memorial Union was built in 1955 as a tribute to Aggies who died in military service to the United States, and this renovation is meant not only to give the building a face lift, but to return some focus to that original purpose and the original architect’s intentions. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll see. Not pictured: A new memorial wall honoring our Gold Star Aggies will be unveiled during the campus’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 25.

The Memorial Union atrium area.
The atrium includes a welcome wall and plenty of space and light. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The most noticeable transformation can be seen on the north side of the building: a diagonal slant added in the 1990s was removed, and what was a single-story hallway has been transformed into an open, two-story atrium.

Offices that will house the Veteran Success Center and an onboarding center.
The Veterans Success Center includes offices and a conference room (right side of hallway). (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Veterans services will move from Dutton Hall to the new Veterans Success Center, upstairs. This floor also includes the AggieCard office, an onboarding center for new campus employees and a new computer lab.

A lounge on the second floor of the Memorial Union.
This is the space formerly occupied by the Art Lounge and King Lounge. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Plenty of lounge space — with plenty of outlets — can also be found on the second floor.

A lounge on the first floor of the Memorial Union.
And , on the first floor, this is the former Griffin Lounge (which had a fireplace, now removed). Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Back downstairs, lounges make up the bulk of the first floor.

A lounge area in the East Wing of the Memorial Union.
This first-floor lounge, with an ASUCD Services counter, occupies what used to be the post office. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The East Wing houses still more lounge space. There are also shop spaces for the ASUCD, but it has yet to decide what will go there. The post office, Bike Hub, Classical Notes and Campus Copies will not be returning. 

The Market inside the Memorial Union.
The Market occupies the space that formerly held two stores, one run by UC Davis Stores and the other by the ASUCD. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

UC Davis Stores will operate The Market, offering snacks and CoHo-to-Go products, like premade salads and wraps. Proceeds will be split between UC Davis Stores and the Coffee House.

The Memorial Union basement games area.
The bowling alley is the same, except with four fewer lanes to make way for billiards tables, right. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The basement Games Area includes a 12-lane bowling alley, billiards tables, six screens dedicated to an assortment of console video games that have network capability for Internet play, an assortment of TV screens and a new lounge area.

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