University of Oregon


Student Union Retail/dining Feasibility Analysis

In 2003 the University of Oregon retained B&D to study the impact of new retail and foodservice in the renovation plan being considered for the Erb Memorial Union (EMU). The union, originally built in 1950, had been renovated and expanded in 1974 and in 1986 but the university found it to be inadequate to serve its growing student and university populations at the time. The university’s primary questions included: how much space should be added?; how does this space relate to the entire renovation plan?; and how does the entire mix of space relate to the potential of the success of the proposed renovation? In order to develop conclusions, we conducted detailed interviews with EMU administrators, including the Director, Business Manager, Director of Food Service, Scheduling Director, and Chair of the EMU Board. We also toured the existing facility, reviewed proposed expansion plans, and organized briefings with the Director of Campus Planning. Upon completion of our review, we recommended developing a “spine” of a variety of retail and food services on the basement level of EMU to encourage a greater volume of walk-through traffic. Furthermore, we proposed that a greater mix of retail would attract a larger portion of the university community. In accordance with national food service trends, we encouraged the food service to diversify its offerings.