UofL breaks ground on Student Activities Center addition, renovation

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville officials broke ground today on an expansion and renovation of the Swain Student Activities Center (SAC) that will offer students more than 112,000 square feet of additional or renovated dining, retail, meeting and office space.

    Acting President Neville Pinto, Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Benz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Harlan Sands, Dean of Students Michael Mardis and Student Government Association President Aaron Vance spoke at the event, which marks the start of the $40 million project. The renovation is financed through private sources, facility funds and a $9.6 million agency bond funded by the current student activities fee.

    Opened in 1990, the SAC is home to many of the university’s student services, including its Student Government Association, a number of dining venues and some small meeting rooms. It also houses the offices for the UofL athletics program.

    The renovation and expansion will offer greater meeting space for the more than 400 recognized student organizations on campus, more and better dining options and common areas where students can socialize and study on the SAC’s west side.

    The east side of the facility will house an expanded campus bookstore, a Starbucks restaurant and several departments that will serve students, including Health Promotion and the PEACC offices. The Department of Health and Sport Sciences also will relocate to the facility.

    “This expansion and renovation is part of a strategic effort to improve campus facilities — and the on-campus experience — for our 22,000 students,” Pinto said. “By offering them more meeting and study areas, as well as better services and more social areas, we will improve their time on campus, which in turn will help us retain and graduate more students.”

    Construction on the project already has begun. It should be completed in fall 2018.

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    John Drees
    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As senior associate vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.