The University engaged WTW Architects to explore options for the future expansion of student unions at their Columbia campus. Through a very collaborative process, with personal interaction and input from over 500 students, faculty, and staff, the design team developed a program of need and tested a variety of development options. These options included expansion and replacement of the Russell House, repurposing a former basketball arena, and expanding upon the City of Columbia’s Main Street corridor.
With broad consensus, the strongest vision was determined to be a plan for phased expansion of the Russell House University Union with a satellite bookstore on Main Street. Working closely with the University, the design team developed an implementation strategy to achieve this vision within projected budgets and a business plan to maintain successful operations throughout the construction process and beyond.