The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday August 15th

Renovations will bring lockers to the Student Union

The Student Union is no stranger to renovations.

The Union, which completed renovations at the start of last semester, will undergo further renovations this spring — this time, for lockers.

The Carolina Union Board of Directors approved Wednesday the installation of 30 lockers and 15 storage units as a pilot.

The success of the installation will determine how the rest of the Union’s $67,000, which is from student fees and designated for building improvements and infrastructure costs, will be spent.

If the installation is a hit, the Union will install more lockers and units, but if it is not as popular as expected, the money will go toward other building projects, said Tony Patterson, senior associate director of Student Life and Activities for the Union.

Executive members of student government and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation put forth the idea of installing the day-use lockers and storage units.

Patterson said conversations concerning proposed renovations started last semester.

“Their thought was (lockers and storage units) would be useful for the off-campus student,” Patterson said.

The 4×4-foot lockers will have electronic locks. The lockers and storage units will be located in the basement area of the Union formerly occupied by a bowling alley.

Tom Low, president of the Carolina Union Activities Board, said both the lockers and storage units will be useful for students.

“Many students bring things to campus that they do not want to carry with them all day — bike helmets, gym bags, books, etc. — and lockers could be a great resource for them,” Low said in an email.

Senior Kameron Rowe, who lives in Rams Village, said she is in favor of lockers in the Student Union.

“I am in an art class, and every Tuesday and Thursday I have to lug my portfolio around campus,” she said.

“It is a hassle. I would love to be able to store it somewhere on mid-campus. Lockers would be really convenient — they are a great idea.”

Low said the units will also benefit student organizations who need storage space.

“We get a lot of applications for space in the Union each year from student groups, and we cannot accommodate everyone,” he said. “This would certainly help that problem.”

Patterson said lockers were in the Union twice in the past, about 10 years ago, but they were taken down due to infrequent use.

He said the conversations about whether the lockers would be a good investment have been split. The pilot program will help determine their practicality.

“I think it depends on how you spend your time when you’re here on campus, regardless if you are (living) on-campus or off-campus,” he said.

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