New University Union groundbreaking set for Aug. 30
DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas will mark the groundbreaking of its new University Union with a ceremony at noon on Aug. 30 (Friday) on the Library Mall. The event also includes a free barbecue lunch for UNT students, faculty and staff (with UNT ID) beginning at 11 a.m. on the Library Mall.
Student leaders and UNT President V. Lane Rawlins will speak at the event.
“A student’s involvement in campus life has a great impact on their overall success — and a strong student union is key to getting students engaged,” Rawlins said. “The new University Union will provide a first-class environment for students to be a part of campus life and to expand their educational experience.”
The building’s technology and architectural design will give students a home away from home, said Union Director Zane Reif.
“The new union is going to be the epicenter of student life at UNT,” Reif said. “The facility will symbolize what it means to be a Mean Green student with iconic UNT images and a celebration of UNT’s history throughout the building. We are very proud that students voted for the union, and have been involved in its design every step of the way.”
UNT students voted in Spring 2012 to approve a fee increase of up to $115 each semester to fund the University Union project. The fee will go into effect in Fall 2014. The current University Union, built in the 1964 and expanded in the 1970s, was designed to serve about 17,000 students. The UNT campus has grown to about 36,000 students and more than 2.5 million students visit the University Union every year.
Construction on the new union is expected to cost about $130 million. The building is designed to more than double the amount of student organization space provided in the current union, and will provide double the space for student lounges and art galleries. The new union also will provide more food service and entertainment space, auditorium and meeting space, a bookstore, state-of-the-art technology and sustainable design.
The new union is designed to achieve Platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.