By Andy Garrison
April 9, 2014
Blum Union has undergone many changes this year in an attempt to make the building more inviting to students.
Important changes to Blum Union are still being made to both update the facility and ensure that it’s student-centric. The first big change to the union was the addition of new furniture in the main floor lounge area. After that, the Griffon’s Nest, outside of Blum’s West-facing wall, was finished in the Fall. Now, the newest improvement to the building is the addition of a Java City coffee kiosk.
The installation of Java City in the lounge area of Blum was mainly designed to give students a more enjoyable place to be, according to Judy Grimes, associate vice president for student affairs.
“The purpose of building the Java City was to help the student union become a more vibrant place,” Grimes said. “The union is a place to congregate, and we wanted to build that in so students feel like they have a second home.”
Making Blum a “second home” has been the main purpose for all of the improvements and additions to the building, and, so far, the changes are proving very popular, according to Kathy DeWalt. DeWalt is a director for Aramark, Western’s exclusive foodservice contractor.
“Java City has been popular, and increasingly more popular, as students become aware of the new location and working into their schedules on coming over after their classes,” DeWalt said.
Although Java City seemed to pop up in Blum overnight, its addition was not simple.
“It was not a simple task to build the Java City because it was on a concrete floor, so we had to figure out how to run water to that area, along with installing the new floor, among other things,” Grimes said.
Some students agree that the hard work that went into Java City’s construction was worth it, including Western student Mitch Sanders.
“Java City has been a perfect addition to Blum, because now I can grab a quick bite to eat on my way to class since they have available grab-and-go snacks,” Sanders said. “It has really helped me prepare for the morning.”
There are other plans to improve Blum, including making changes to the Union’s second floor and dedicating the Griffon’s Nest to the Kelley family, who donated money for its construction. The Griffon’s Nest will renamed Kelley’s Commons after a dedication on April 24.