The home of many of Duke University’s theaters, eateries and student offices, the Bryan Center has started its makeover.
In September, Duke’s computer store and postal operations moved into the bookstore. During the next few weeks, mailboxes located on the second level will be moved downstairs to the formal location of the computer store.
The entire middle level, in fact, is being vacated to make room for Duke Student Government, the Duke University Union and the Black Student Alliance, all of which will have new offices and meeting space there, as will staff for the Office of University Centers Activities and Events (UCAE). The top floor will soon provide a home for Duke’s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Duke Bookstore will also undergo a transformation with details to follow.
As for the Bryan Center’s lower level, the Von Canon meeting rooms will be replaced with new homes for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life joining the Center for Multicultural Affairs and the Center for Student Leadership. Many of the activities which previously took place in the Von Canon rooms will eventually take place in the Events Pavilion now under construction.
Why so many changes? With West Union set to close for renovations next Fall (thanks to the generosity of the Duke Endowment), many offices and centers currently located there need to be relocated. This has provided an opportunity to transform the Bryan Center with key offices and functions that serve and support students. With the revitalization of the Bryan Center’s food program (notably the addition of Au Bon Pain), the wonderful array of arts and cultural programs featured in its may theaters, these changes will position the Bryan Center as a key student and community facility.
There’s more to the shuffle. The Office of Student Conduct has already moved to the Crowell building on East Campus. The Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture will have new home next year in the Flowers Building. The Duke Card office will move to to a new location. The business offices of the Chronicle and some other offices now in West Union or Flowers also will be relocated.
“The transformation of the Bryan Center will position it to be a key component in the complex of spaces serving students and all members of the Duke community.” said Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs. “Its theaters, dining venues and retail operations will operate in concert with various student serving offices and centers offering one anchor to the overall game plan for student life which will encompass a new undergraduate residential model, a world-class library (whose final renovation will be completed concurrent with West Union’s reopening) and, thanks to the Duke Endowment, a fantastic student dining and gathering building – the new West Union.”
Student Affairs has established a website and blog to track the project’s progress, at sites.duke.edu/westunion.