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Muenster University Center expansion on schedule as USD students anticipate bigger, better ‘living room’

VERMILLION, S.D. -- When it comes to choices, whether it’s what to eat for lunch or grabbing a coffee with friends, the Muenster University Center at the University of South Dakota already has plenty to offer. But a year from now, the options for the university community will be even bigger and better thanks to an $11.6 million expansion of the facility.

“We anticipated that the day would come that the success of the original building, even though it opened just four years ago, would lead to expansion,” noted Jeff Baylor, vice president of marketing, enrollment and student services at USD. “Construction is on schedule. The winter weather was better than anticipated and we’ve had a very good contractor to work with, so things are coming together nicely.”

Once construction of the 31,000 square foot addition is completed late next fall, the Muenster University Center will offer expanded seating and more contemporary dining options. Retail dining provided by professional services company Aramark will continue to be a significant part of the food court in its new location on the southeast side of the facility. National brand restaurants Chick-fil-A, Qdoba and Einstein Bros. Bagels will be new additions to the southwest area of the expanded MUC along with new dining and seating areas, complete with booths and a la carte dining options.

Remaining construction on the project this spring includes placement of additional steel beams, pouring the floors now that all the piping and plumbing is in, and beginning the exterior enclosure of the new addition. With summer and warmer temperatures around the corner, construction will move inside as patrons should anticipate the closure of the north dining area, the pool table and stage area west of the pit lounge, and limited access to part of the Muenster University Center’s link to I.D. Weeks Library.

Sustainability is also a priority in construction of the new addition with contractors using LEED Silver certification materials to promote further efficiency of the Muenster University Center. The general contractor for the project is Sioux Falls Construction of South Dakota with the design of the new addition, complimentary to the existing building, planned by RS Architects of South Dakota.

“I think the campus community and our future students are very excited for the completion of this project, especially knowing the significance of the MUC and what it means to our student body,” Baylor added.  “Since opening in 2009, the Muenster University Center has certainly impacted the quality of student life at USD whether students are hanging out with friends, watching the big game or one of their favorite shows on one of the facility’s high definition TVs, or simply grabbing a bite to eat. It’s the focal point of campus. It’s USD’s ‘living room’ so to speak.”

For more information, please contact Marketing and University Relations at (605) 677-5759 or email Construction progress will also be updated regularly on Facebook at Download a photo of the expansion’s exterior.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News