Over the past year, UNO has continued making history. Whether it be in the classroom, on the field, right here in Omaha, or across the world - the students, faculty, and staff of UNO have set the bar for what it means to be a successful and engaged metropolitan university.
This is a feature on the past, present, and future of the Milo Bail Student Center, which is currently experiencing its first major renovation in decades and will feature a host of new additions and changes designed to improve the UNO student experience. This story is just one 15 stories highlighting UNO's "Best of 2015" that will be published through the month of December.
The History of the Milo Bail Student Center
Prior to the creation of the Milo Bail Student Center, UNO relied on other buildings to serve as the campus "living room" where students could gather to study, eat, or hang out.
In 1946, what served as the student union was a place called the “Snack Shack” and operated out of a southern addition to the Arts and Sciences building where the parking garage now stands, facing what is now the soccer pitch. As the campus expanded in the post-WWII era, the ‘Shack’ was soon exchanged for a much larger student center building just west of what was then the Gene Eppley Library (now the Eppley Administration Building).
By 1962, the student center’s bowling alley was open for business. Located on the north side of the building where Student Health Services was located until 2010 and where the Gateway offices are currently located, the alley featured four lanes which could be used at the cost of 40 cents a game and 15 cents for shoes. The alley lasted for just over a decade before, in the mid-1970s, it was closed to make room for office spaces despite protests from students due to the fact that it had been operating at a loss for quite some time.
Originating as a two-level structure, renovations and the addition of a third level and an outdoor mall were introduced in the late 1960s and finished by 1971. The student center underwent renovations again in 1975, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2007, and, most recently, in 2009.
The Milo Bail Student Center Today
The Student Center renovation project officially began in May 2015 and is scheduled for completion before the Fall 2016 semester begins. Below are some important links to help you navigate the building through the renovation project. The project will move through phases and certain areas will not be accessible for periods of time. The Student Center staff is committed to making this transition as easy as possible for you, so let us know if you experience any issues associated with the renovation project.
These construction maps shows the most current accessible entrances, location of restrooms and student services offices, and areas that are closed off to the public.
The Future of the Milo Bail Student Center
When the new-looking Milo Bail Student Center opens in Fall 2016, students will see a transformed space where they can not only purchase their books and eat at the food court, but engage in campus activities, enjoy new study spaces, and even enjoy a delicious milkshake.
Here are some of the improvements from Student Center Renovation Project:
- New Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system throughout the building will improve heating and cooling and our impact on the environment
- Centralized welcome desk for questions and/or specific needs
- Additional meeting space on the 2nd floor
- Improved way-finding and ability to reach each floor via elevator
New and expanded services for students:
- Lactation room
- Foot washing station for chapel
- Mini-kitchen available to students
- Additional quiet study spaces as well as louder social spaces on all three floors
Top notch technology, including but not limited to:
- WEPA wireless printing stations
- Laptop checkouts
- Multiple power and USB plugs
Here's a 3D look at the renovations:
Here's a virtual tour:
To get up to date information about the Milo Bail Student Center renovations, visit the dedicated Renovations page at http://www.unomaha.edu/milo-bail-student-center/renovation-project.php.