Armstrong Student Center Opening Event Set for February 7, 2014

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July 2013
Written by Vince Frieden, Associate Director, University Advancement Communications


The view across Spring Street toward the Miami University Armstrong Student Center. Major construction work is expected to conclude this fall to leave time for installing technology, moving in furniture, putting up graphics packages, testing the facility and training staff ahead of the 2014 opening.

Interior images of the former Rowan Hall, which will be the Shade Family Room within the Armstrong Student Center. It is slated to open for orientation events this October.

Exterior images of the former Rowan Hall, which will be the Shade Family Room within the Armstrong Student Center. It is slated to open for orientation events this October.

This impressive skylight towers over the Armstrong Student Center’s Slant Walk. The Center’s design placed a heavy emphasis on providing ample natural lighting and openness throughout.

A view from the Armstrong Student Center’s Bicentennial Rotunda looking toward the second-floor Slant Walk, which is overlooked by student organization offices on all sides.

Members of the Armstrong Student Center Board are playing a significant role in the planning of the Center’s day-to-day operations as well as policy and procedural decisions.


Watch the Armstrong Student Center
come to life in pictures. >>

The work of building the Armstrong Student Center as Miami University’s first facility built first and foremost with students in mind is ongoing in both a literal and figurative sense.

As the physical construction work steams ahead toward an October deadline, the work of building student leadership within the Armstrong Student Center began during the spring. More than a decade in the making, the Armstrong Student Center will celebrate its opening with a campus-wide celebration scheduled for Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.

According to John Seibert ’90, Miami University director of planning, architecture and engineering, the effort to finish major construction work by early October is advancing on a number of fronts. Drywall work is nearing completion while painting is underway throughout the Center.

Once exterior utility work is complete, the site will be graded and landscaping work will begin on the Armstrong Student Center’s three exterior courtyards. This includes construction of the colonnades that will wrap around both sides of the former Rowan Hall and landscaping work, which will commence in the fall and wrap up in spring 2014.  Major interior work will conclude in October to leave time for installing technology, moving in furniture, putting up graphics packages, testing the facility and training staff.

Meanwhile, the Armstrong Student Center is living up to its billing as “a building by students, for students.”

Katie Wilson was named the inaugural Armstrong Student Center director last October, and her first order of business was putting together a board comprised of 15 student leaders. These students, representing a variety of perspectives and campus interests, are currently assigned to 12 teams, each featuring a mix of student leaders and campus partners, and each tasked with its own focus.

“It’s an interesting challenge, because I’m the director, but by nature, the Armstrong Student Center will be very much student-run,” Wilson said. “I am working very closely with students on policy and procedural decisions while also preparing students to implement events, provide good customer service and essentially run the Center.”

Some of the areas in which the teams are working include marketing, technology, programming and activities, the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL), and student employment. According to Nick Miller, a senior from Toledo, Ohio, who has been involved with the Armstrong Student Center since he arrived on campus, the board is having a lot of fun envisioning how the Center will look and function, but they also understand their responsibility.

“Every student selected to the board understands the importance of the Armstrong Student Center and the impact it will have on our students,” Miller said. “We all want to leave Miami a better place than we found it, and I believe that’s something we share with every Miamian.”


This story was featured in Giving Tribute Summer 2013.