The present Student Center, originally Wyatt Gymnasium, was built in 1919 for $50,000.
After Percefull Fieldhouse's constructed was completed in 1953, the Wyatt Gymnasium was remodeled and expanded in 1956 to create the Student Center. Ad addition was to house a cafeteria and lounge area. The original interior was remodeled to provide for a bookstore, meetings rooms, a ballroom and a chapel. Cost: $150,000.
Another remodeling in 1965 created a full second floor, primarily given to a ballroom. The cafeteria area was modernized, a new formal dining room was created, the bookstore was enlarged and relocated, the chapel was relocated, and a game room and lounge area were installed. Cost: $220,000.
In 1982 a three-year program was begun by the university maintenance department to renovate both the East and West Ranger rooms, lay new flooring and install new furnishings in those areas. In 1983 the chapel was remodeled in a family-financed project and dedicated to Maud Drake Bingham, retired drama professor.
The Alumni Association financed the development of new offices for that organization in the west area of the first floor and occupied those facilities in 1986.
The building was remodeled again in 1996-97. The renovation completely changed the appearance and character of the structure. It now houses a recreation center, a snack bar and eating area, the university bookstore, the Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association Office, Campus Police, Student Government Association office and dining/meeting rooms on the first floor. A ballroom, conference rooms, and a chapel are on the second floor. A cybercafe and comfortable furniture also has been added in the Student Center.
During the summer of 2009, the snack bar and seating area underwent another remodel by food service provider Chartwell's.
Student Center Photo Gallery
Below are a few photos that show the building's transformation from gymnasium to current day Student Center.