New Kirby Plaza opens at UMD
The new Kirby Plaza is now open for business on Kirby Drive on the UMD campus .The three-story renovated Plaza houses important and expanded services for UMD students, faculty and staff including a large Food Court, the UMD Bookstore & Comput...
The new Kirby Plaza is now open for business on Kirby Drive on the UMD campus .The three-story renovated Plaza houses important and expanded services for UMD students, faculty and staff including a large Food Court, the UMD Bookstore & Computer Corner, Bulldog Shop, a convenience store, the UMD Print Shop, TCF Bank, a coffee house, a student computer lab, the College of Liberal Arts offices, University for Seniors, 10 campus organizations, Multi-Cultural Student Union ,and a major Duluth Transit Authority Bus Hub -- to name only some. A Childcare Center is slated to open in November.
"Our mission has always been to improve the student experience with social, educational and recreational space," said Neale Roth, Kirby Student Center director. "What we did with the Kirby Plaza renovation, is to bring the center of student life into the 21st century."
The much-awaited Food Court includes a variety of selections such as "Burger Hub," "Daily Special," "Grab N Go," "Sweet Dreams & Sandwiches" and "Taste of Italia." The Center Court Grill (a sit-down restaurant with unique menu) will open soon.
Not only will Kirby Plaza serve as the hub for student life, it will
also serve as a major hub for the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA). The main entrance on Kirby Drive was funded by the DTA and designed as a much-needed bus center for UMD.
"The DTA wanted to increase the use of busing by UMD students, and so we offered a proposal to UMD in which we would provide a discounted pass to UMD students to ride the bus, in turn easing some of the traffic and parking pressures," said Dennis Jensen, DTA general manager. With UMD and the DTA working together, the program evolved into the U-Pass system where UMD students ride the bus for free. The program has been extremely successful with more than 1,900 UMD students per day riding DTA buses during the school year.
The Kirby Plaza project included renovation of 69,000 square feet of the old library, along with new construction of a 19,000 square-foot addition. The old library was vacated in 2000, upon completion of UMD's new $26 million state-of-the-art library.
News to Use
New Space: 69,000 gross square feet
Renovation Start: October 2002
Architect: Krech Ojard & Associates
Construction Manager: Johnson Wilson Constructors