Plans for new union unveiled to students

Laura Haatvedt

Laura Haatvedt

Two years from now “overflow dining” will cease to exist at SDSU if plans for the new union go ahead as planned.

The union will be expanding, with the project set to begin this spring.

The new student union will offer a larger ballroom, more space for dining and different food service options, a larger bookstore, more meeting rooms and more lounge space for students, including three fireplaces.

Due to the expansion however, the student union building will be closed, which may be an inconvenience to some. KSDJ station manager Ashley Allen is frustrated about having to relocate the radio station.

“Basically, we will have to move everything,” Allen said. “We will have to run wire from the transmitter to the new location.”

Radio station personnel had just spent a year updating their facility, and now will have to move out of the building for a year. Phone lines and Internet ports will also have to be put into the new location.

The radio station was going to have a satellite dish on the roof of the union for the AP wire, but Allen said that will have to wait.

“I understand that the union needs to expand,” Allen said.

Students’ Association president Eric Erickson feels that the expanded union wil be well worth the wait for students.

“We will be able to hold more events in the union,” Erickson said. “There will also be a lot more student lounge space.”

Space is one of the biggest reasons to expand.

Originally the union was built for a student body of about 5,000. With enrollment increasing in recent years, that number is now doubled.

“The new union will better suit the campus as it grows,” Kathy Lusk of DSUA said.

Lusk stressed that although the union building will be closed, DSUA will still be there to offer all previous services during construction.

“We will be offering the same services with the same hours, just in different locations on campus,” Lusk said. “We will find places to host any events.”

The ballroom, as well as the dining area in the union, will be expanded. Erickson said that SA members have been meeting with Aramark in order to get spaces figured out during construction.

“We are also looking at options as to a third place to eat on campus,” SA vice-president Justin Larson said.

Erickson and other SA members have also been offering their ideas for the new dining area after the move is complete.

“We are hoping to really revamp the food places,” Erickson said.

In addition to meeting with representatives from Aramark, Erickson has also been checking in with the architect about every two weeks, representing students’ interests.

Both Erickson and Larson would like to encourage students to share any questions or concerns regarding the expansion project with them.

The decision to close the union was made because it will cost less and take less overall time to remodel the union in one building period than if the job were to be done piece by piece, trying to work around students.

“I am excited about it,” Erickson said. “This way the students who are paying for it will get to see it and enjoy it.”

Lusk said that a lot of careful planning has gone into this project.

She feels that it has been an interesting and valuable learning experience, and the results will be able to be enjoyed for years to come.

“I think students are going to love it,” Larson said.

Other offices that will be affected by the construction project will include the University Program Council and the Collegian.

Both offices will remain open in other locations. The locations for these offices and all other offices have not been finalized yet. The Collegian will report their new locations later in the year.