Students arrived on the University of Miami campus this week to find a MIA favorite has returned — grander, snazzier and yet refreshingly familiar.
The ‘Rat’ is back and the rebuilt two-story Rathskeller, which opened Wednesday, is part of the new decade-in-the-making $46.5 million Student Activities Center on the Coral Gables campus.
The 119,368-square-foot campus hub, designed by Arquitectonica and built by Fort Lauderdale-based Moss & Associates, features four food and drink spots, a student media suite that houses the campus newspaper and magazine, a 500-seat ballroom center and individual offices and study rooms for campus groups, including the Winston P. Warrior United Black Students Office and Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos.
“This was a 10-year project and was the vision of President Shalala in 2003 to build a brand new student center on the lake and to tear down the Rat and to place a new Rat inside the building,” said Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “Over the years we worked on the programming and the students became our partners in 2006. We’ll have the kind of space necessary to support student programs.”