Renovations to the ETSU D.P. Culp University Center are on track to be finished by the end of 2019.

Though rumors swirled about construction beginning in summer 2017, Bill Rasnick, ETSU’s associate vice president of facilities management, planning and construction, said the first phase of renovations will begin in March or April 2018.

In Nov. 2017, a grading package, consisting of the architectural plans, will be completed. The north end of the Culp Center will be the first to be affected.

Another question many have is whether or not the Cave and Marketplace will remain. The Cave, though it will be renovated to include a gaming area and stage, will still have the rock, and the Marketplace will be in the same spot with a few upgrades as well.

“We are nearing 50 percent design development,” Rasnick said. “Once design development is completed, we will move to construction documents which will be completed by the end of the year.”

The budget for the project is set for $40.5 million, and Rasnick said they are still within that budget.

This project is set to improve the flow and function of the Culp Center for the ETSU community.

SORC offices on the first floor will be moved to the second floor, where the Student Media Center, which will house the East Tennessean and The Edge, will be located.

The ballroom, forum, dining rooms and meetings rooms will be kept in their location as well.

Personally, Rasnick said he is excited for the glass curtain wall and outdoor patios.

“Essentially, we will open Culp up with the glass bringing in natural light and creating an exciting space for students to gather, eat and relax,” Rasnick said.

Plans for the renovation can be found at