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Students approve fee to build new union

Architect's rendering, proposed University UnionStudents voted to approve a fee increase of $115, beginning in the Fall 2014 semester, to fund a renovated and expanded university union. Above, the proposed facility by architects Perkins+Will.

The official results of the student vote, announced April 9, show that more than 2,000 students voted on the union referendum and 54 percent approved the fee increase.

Online voting for the Student Government Association-sponsored referendum was April 2-6.

“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 union, built in the 1970s, was designed to serve about 17,000 students. Enrollment has grown to about 36,000 students, and more than 2.5 million students visit the union every year.

The new union, which is expected to cost $130 million, is designed to more than double the amount of student organization space now available, and will double the amount of lounge and art gallery space. The new union also will provide more food service and entertainment space, auditorium and meeting areas, 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.

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.

- Leslie Wimmer, News Promotions

Posted on: Mon 09 April 2012