The Mike and Josie Harper Center has undergone renovations to “create the best available educational environment for student learning” after a donation was made from the Heider Family Foundation and other donors.
The renovations began over the summer and will continue into the fall of 2020.The renovations focus on creating more space for students.
According to Pam Mortenson, the interim chief communications and marketing officer, students met with architects during the initial planning phase of the renovations.
“Our architects worked to develop a plan that maximized the existing buildings space by recapturing 21,000 square feet of underutilized hallway space,” Mortenson said. “Everything the architects included in the renovations is consistent with the desires and wishes voiced by students.”
Due to increasing enrollment in the Heider College of Business, space utilization became a challenge in the Harper Center.
Included in the changes are an increase of collaborative spaces for individuals and small groups to meet and work on projects. This was a focus students voiced when meeting with architects.
With the space utilization challenge architects were facing, some organizations had to relocate out of the Harper Center.
The Schlegel Center for Service and Justice moved to Becker Hall, while student health services are now provided at the CHI Health Student Care Clinic north of Cuming Street.
Student Counseling Services also moved out of the Harper Center into Markoe Hall, joining the newly formed Student Health Education and Compliance Office there.
“When moving organizations outside the Harper Center, we determined that their individual missions could be better served in other locations,” Mortenson said. “Other functions were relocated within the Harper Center based upon their space needs and architectural design factors.”
The Creighton bookstore temporarily moved to the Murphy Building but will find its new home on the first floor of Harper. The iJay Store, Admissions and Career Center are all set to move within Harper as well.
On the second floor, students can expect to see a new iJay store when they walk in where the Portfolio Practicum classroom is currently located. Along with iJay being relocated, a new Starbucks is replacing Brewjay, the Union Pacific Meeting Room Complex is relocating to the second floor, and a chapel is being added to the floor.
Heider College of Business senior Tom Murphy said he is excited about the addition of a chapel to the Harper Center.
“I enjoyed talking with [Rev. Merkel] about the chapel because he was intentional about reaching out to current students in search of what they would like to see in a future chapel in the Harper Center,” Murphy said. “It seems like they are trying to make it more of a quiet reflection space, something I am sure future students here would be grateful to have.”
Students will be able to find the bookstore, Career Center and admissions on the first floor once renovations are complete. Five new classrooms are also being added to the building along with 20 collaboration rooms.