The revitalization of the Bone Student Center is nearing completion.
The four-year project is slated for completion in February with the opening of Star Ginger, a Southeast Asian concept restaurant to be located on the second floor; installing graphics and signage for the new spaces on the second floor; and installing technology for the new Career Services Resource Hub.
Star Ginger will join McAlister’s Deli and new Starbucks, The Landing, Qdoba and Timbers Grille locations as dining options in the revamped center.
“With the food, we really took the time to get feedback from students in particular, and what’s now in the bone is a direct result of that feedback,” said Erin Watts, deputy marketing manager, of training and reception in Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality (EMDH).
Here is an overview of the major changes the Bone Student Center has undergone and its current state of operation.
Each floor of the updated Bone Student Center caters to different aspects of the student experience. The first floor contains the renovated Barnes & Noble-Illinois State University Bookstore, Starbucks, The Landing, TechZone, the Redbird Card Office, a satellite location for Printing Services, and the Illinois State Credit Union .
The biggest change, however, might be the new entrance on the east side of the building, which is designed to be the new gateway to campus. Newly constructed outdoor spaces lead visitors to the new reception desk and reception area.
The second floor houses several units that meet the needs of students. Recently opened Career Services joined Diversity Advocacy and the Dean of Student Offices and Student Engagement Center.
Students can also head to the Bird’s Nest to relax, study, or grab a bite to eat. The student gathering space includes Qdoba and Timbers Grille, and will soon host Star Ginger.
The Atrium occupies the third floor, which also includes a common space for the Admissions Office and the EMDH.
The Atrium has a presentation room with an impressive view of the Quad, as well as a reception and lobby, a lounge area with a fireplace and an outdoor patio. In the evening, the Atrium can also be used for meetings, events, receptions and other gatherings managed by EMDH’s Event Services and Catering team.
“We hope the Atrium will continue to provide future Redbirds and their families with an exceptional and memorable experience when visiting campus,” Watts said.
Keeping Redbirds Safe
The Bone Student Center has resumed normal hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday during the spring semester while maintaining standards intended to keep visitors and staff healthy and safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
All guests must wear a mask or face covering and adhere to physical distancing guidelines as outlined in the Restore Illinois plan. Currently, the size of events is limited and the guidelines will continue to be updated based on the phases put in place by the State of Illinois. EMDH has also improved cleaning and sanitation practices, particularly in restrooms and other high-touch areas.
“We will always continue to work closely with university management, environmental health and safety, the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health,” Watts said. “We will continue to assess our practices and follow these guidelines.”
For Watts, the most rewarding aspect of this project has been the overwhelmingly positive response from Illinois State students.
“The students seem really excited and enjoying the new spaces that have been created in the building and the upgrades,” Watts said. “Even with the COVID-19 restrictions, we believe the Bone Student Center has become more of a destination for students and the campus community.”