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Architects' drawings, video show how a new union would serve campus

University Union, proposed 2012, Perkins+Will architectsBy Stefanie Ritz, assistant director, assessment, marketing and planning, University Union

Representatives of the University Union Master Plan Committee and Perkins+Will architects presented plans for a new union - above and below - to the Student Government Association Feb. 29.

The association, SGA, also was presented with a proposed referendum to allow students a chance to vote on an increased union fee of no more than $115 to cover the cost of a new facility. If approved, the fee would be assessed beginning in fall 2012. The union would be finished in 2015.

SGA will vote Wednesday, March 7 to schedule a student referendum the week of April 2-6.

(Editor's note, March 8: The SGA voted to place the fee, with assessment beginning in fall 2014, on the referendum ballot.)

Students can see the planned, new union for themselves, take a video tour of the design, and get answers to questions at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. March 7 in the University Union, Silver Eagle A. Free pizza, drink, and desserts will be provided.

Student forums also are planned for March 14, 28, and 29. Faculty and staff are welcome, but only students will vote on the referendum.

Students from the University Union Master Plan Committee, architects and administrative representatives have been talking to students, researching other university facilities and exploring design concepts since last summer.

SGA senators got first peak into the design philosophy of the new building, including the opportunity to view renderings of the inside, exteriors and pathways. This gave them a closer insight into what a new union could look like at UNT.

Students have been the center of the process from the very beginning, and their needs are included in every aspect of the design concepts. The union location will not change, plus Scoular and Stovall halls are expected to be demolished, all as part of the campus master plan.

“From the walls to the floors, from the exteriors in, this building speaks UNT, and really captures the heart of UNT. I think UNT students will be happy with the conceptual design so far,” said Jayleen Watson, broadcast journalism junior.

Student organizations will gain a 68 percent increase in usable space, including designated offices for SGA, graduate student council and other student organizations.

Master Plan Committee students have been working hard meeting with students and sharing information about the master plan. The committee has met with more than 6,000 students at various education sessions and promotional events this year, with more planned during March, prior to the election.

University Union, proposed 2012, Perkins+Will architects

Posted on: Mon 05 March 2012

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