A welcome addition

HOUGHTON – Michigan Technological University broke ground on an addition to the Memorial Union Building intended to be the welcoming face of the university for visitors and prospective students May 12. The John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center will serve as a larger, more up-to-date and more visible area for those wishing to know more about Michigan Tech.

“It’s basically for our admissions staff and for visiting prospective students and groups coming into learn about the university,” said Jake Guter, project engineer. “So there will be a large lobby area with reception and there will be a large presentation room to give presentations to high school groups or groups of prospective students.”

The presentation room, Guter said, will be capable of holding at least 50 people. The current welcome area does not have a similar space or the visibility of the new location, with seating for only 40 people and limited parking available.

“There is sort of (a welcome area) in the basement of the administration building, but it’s not all that easy to find and it’s not good for large groups, it’s hard to do presentations,” Guter said. “We really don’t have a presentation room at all in the current situation.”

In addition to a large presentation room, the welcome center will contain the offices of the admitting staff. Both the presentation room and offices will be outfitted with updated equipment for daily work and presentations. In total, it will consist of a 3,000 foot addition to the MUB with 1,500 more remodeled square feet of the MUB.

The John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center was approved by the Michigan Tech Board of Control during its regular meeting in December. Named after an alumnus and longtime Michigan Tech supporter, the $998,000 project is funded entirely by donors, with a majority coming from the John Edgar McAllister trust.

Construction is scheduled to be completed September 17 – just in time for Homecoming Weekend. The staff plans on moving in later in the month.

“This (welcome center) will be much more visible from the road for people coming in, easier to find and more welcoming,” Guter said.