UNT students approve Union fee, building set to open in 2015
DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Students at the University of North Texas voted to approve a fee increase of $115 each semester to fund a renovated and expanded university union on the UNT campus. The new fee will go into effect in Fall 2014.
The official results of the student vote, which took place April 2 – 6 (Monday through Friday), show that more than 2,000 students voted on the union referendum and 54 percent approved the fee increase.
"The new union will provide enhanced services, facilities and programs for the entire UNT community," said Zane Reif, director of activities and the university union. "The new union design concept also will be a home away from home for all current and future students, and the building's sustainable design will continue UNT's legacy as an environmentally friendly campus."
The current university union, built 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, and 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 larger bookstore, state-of-the-art technology and sustainable design. The new union is designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
"I'm glad to see that the will of the students has been considered, and I'm happy to see UNT have a wonderful new union," said Student Government Association President Blake Windham.
Construction on the new union is expected to begin in June 2013 and is expected to take about two years. During that time, all programs and services housed in the current union will continue to operate in nearby locations convenient to students, faculty and staff.