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Shriver shrivels under ASC's shadow

By LibMueller
On February 28, 2014

As the Armstrong Student Center (ASC) welcomes the student offices, study rooms, delicious dining options, small market, theater, ballroom and comfortable meeting places, what will become of the Shriver Center?

Senior Director of the Shriver Center General Office Marijo Nootz said Shriver will still serve some of its familiar functions.

"The bookstore is remaining here and the HOME office is here," Nootz said. "We'll be maintaining the multipurpose room and the Heritage Room for meeting rooms and banquets, and the catering kitchen will stay here."

Nootz said the Rinella Learning Center, which is currently in the lower level of the Campus Avenue Building (CAB), will relocate to Shriver.

"The plan is for the west wing, which was the student wing where the offices were, to be remodeled late this spring or early summer and that's going to be used for the Rinella Learning Center," Nootz said.

The Rinella Learning Center provides tutoring to students seeking extra help in specific classes.

Because the Rinella Learning Center uses many rooms and the west wing offers a multitude of them, the project should not require extensive redesign, according to Nootz.

Nootz said some of the equipment that used to be in the Haines Food Court, including grills, has been relocated and some will be stored.

"Some of it has already been utilized in other dining halls," Nootz said. "We knew the end of the food court was coming, so we would get some of the equipment fixed to be able to utilize it just until the food court moved out, so it's not good for anything. And some of it we'll store. A lot of dining halls have a particular kind of fryer [for example], so we keep that so they can use the parts off of it."

Shriver employees have either moved to the ASC or have stayed at Shriver.

"A lot of the employees from the food court went to Armstrong," Nootz said. "Some went to other dining halls. The building service staff at Shriver Center are actually now cleaning both buildings, the public areas of Armstrong and the public areas of Shriver as well as the bookstore."

Project Architect and Manager for the Physical Facilities Department Ted Christian said it remains to be seen what other changes will be made to Shriver, particularly in the food court area.

"There's not a lot that's certain about the project right now," Christian said. "There are too many options still up in the air. There are a lot of groups on campus that want to have a presence, whether it's auxiliary or academic or administrative. There's a lot still being looked at."

Some of the uncertainty has to do with finances and how much remodeling costs, according to Nootz.

First-year Kirsten Drew said the ASC is a great addition to campus, but Miami should have considered keeping some dining options at Shriver.

"They should have another food option that's quick at Shriver," Drew said. "There are long lines in Armstrong usually. There are a lot of people that are going to miss One Eight 09 when it goes too."

One Eight 09, Tuffey's and the Spring Street Market will stay open for the remainder of the semester. However, their future is undetermined, said Manager of Operations of Shriver Center Michael Dobias.

Drew said Miami could do a better job informing students which services are still in Shriver and which have been relocated.

"I was confused because HOME is the box office, so you have to go there for tickets and people think it's in Armstrong," Drew said.

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