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From late-night burgers to midday meditation, students will find much more in the newly renovated first floor of the Student Union.

The most talked-about addition, the 24/7 Wendy’s, is already open and serving up Frostys.

Scott Myers, director of food and vending, said that while the 24/7 schedule answers student demand for a late-night option, it is hard to determine if it will be successful.

“We’re not sure how profitable the 24 hours will be,” he said.
Freshman Eric Kwok said he would probably take advantage of Wendy’s late night accommodation.

“I would go if I’m pulling an all-nighter and the dining halls are closed and other fast food places aren’t open, either,” he said.
Don Luse, director of the Union, expressed confidence in the late-night appeal due to its prime location on campus, right next to a bus stop.

“But if the sales aren’t there or the students aren’t there, we may cut back on hours,” he said.

The current late-night plan includes a 24-hour security guard, dozens of new security cameras, and One Card-only access.

To alleviate students’ worries about a chronic french-fry smell in the air, Jerry Guerrier, lead architect of the project, said a state-of-the-art exhaust system was installed.

“We wanted to make sure we had an air exchange filtration system that would negate the food odor throughout other portions of the building,” he said.

Paul Hartley, an assistant manager at Alpine Bagel Cafe, said he isn’t worried about having another restaurant in the building.

“My wife doesn’t want me to eat too much fast food, so now I have some temptation in the basement, but a little competition is never a bad thing,” he said.

The rest of the Union’s first floor is set for its grand reopening ceremony today, which will include a magician, a caricature artist and live music.

The first floor now holds a presentation area for anything from workshops to gaming tournaments, small meeting areas and a meditation room.

These changes replaced the Cabaret, copy center and 24-hour computer lab in an attempt to better meet the desires of students.
Luse said he is pleased with renovations.

“We were on time and on budget, and that’s important to us,” he said.

The renovations, which Guerrier said cost around $7.5 million so far, were mostly funded by the student fee increase of 2010. Auxiliary Services footed the bill for the Wendy’s.

Myers said any profits made through food sales will be used for other projects.

Other renovations include nine new meeting rooms on the second and third floors, some of which can hold up to 100 people.

Phase two of the renovation plan, which would replace the bowling alley with a new Cabaret, was voted down in a student referendum because of the accompanying hike in student fees.

Officials in the Union are hopeful, however, that phase two will eventually be approved.

“We would love to have an opportunity to complete this project,” Guerrier said.

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