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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Nov. 13: Grand Opening, Ribbon-Cutting

1 p.m. festivities for opening of Centennial Student Union/Memorial Library connection.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 11-8-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato will hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the underground connection between Memorial Library and Centennial Student Union at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the library’s lower-level corridor.

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport will join several other guest speakers who will make brief remarks at the ceremony. The library drill team, pep band and Stomper are scheduled to lead guests on the inaugural journey through the walkway from Memorial Library to Centennial Student Union, where cake and refreshments will be served at the CSU Maverick Bullpen end of the tunnel.

As many as 5,000 people visit Memorial Library daily and 9,500 visit Centennial Student Union daily during the academic year, and the connection is part of the campus master plan that seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly campus.

The connection will provide an indoor pedestrian route between the library, student union and rest of campus regardless of weather conditions.

Dean of Library Services Joan Roca said that Memorial Library is often referred to as “the heart of campus, and now the heart is connected to the rest of campus.”

The interior of the connection features LED lighting, windows on the west side wall and an angled wall on the other side that adds dimension to the space. The exterior has glass that changes its tint from daytime to nighttime. The building materials used on the outside of the connection blend with the newly remodeled fountain in the campus mall area.

A unique feature of the connection is a small outdoor amphitheater on the west side of the underground link that will be the site of future campus activities, such as concerts, outdoor movies, welcome week events and more. Pedestrians walking over the link will be able to look out over the amphitheater and campus mall.

The new connection is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will improve access to the University’s Office of Disability Services, which is located on the lower level of the library (Memorial Library 132).

The $1.2 million project was funded by the University’s strategic priority funding, with equal contributions from the library and the Centennial Student Union.

Excavation for the project began in May, and work has continued over the summer and fall.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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