I’ve been getting asked that a lot lately and it is a fair question. After all, students just chose to support a referendum that would renovate and expand the current University Union. If I was in your shoes, I would want to know “What’s next?” too!
Well, the good news is that the fun part is here! After the Board of Regents review and give their approval on the current Union Master Plan timeline and scope on May 17th and 18th, a year-long process will start that involves thousands of meetings with architects, consultants, and construction managers. The best part about these meetings is that YOU get to be involved every step of the way!
The Union Master Plan has prided itself on having a lot of student involvement and that will not change. Throughout the next twelve months, we will be soliciting student input and asking for people to be a part of the planning process. While many of you saw conceptual drawings of what the Union could look like, please understand that these drawings were just that… conceptual. Now, you will have input into what the final design and features will be in the new University Union. In essence, we are asking that you help us design it because it is your building.
There are a number of ways to help. First of all, keep those comments coming on the Union Master Plan Facebook and official website, http://union.unt.edu/masterplan. We are writing everything down and doing our best to accommodate any requests that may come up throughout this process. Second, if you have more time, stop by the office and ask to be a part of the committee. While it is an intense experience with a lot of meetings, you will have a direct say in what happens with the facility. Finally, attend one of the many student forums that will be coming up or visit with the Student Government Association (SGA). At this point, you can voice any concerns you have with architects or your student representatives.
Regardless of how you get involved, we want to hear what is on your mind!
With that being said, let me give you a quick run-down on what to expect over the next year:
May 2012 – Board of Regent Review and Approval of Union Master Plan
June 2012 – Kick-Off Meeting (Chancellor, President, Steering Committee, and Master Plan Committee)
June 2012-May2013 – Union Design, Modular Unit Construction, and Transition Discussions
May 18, 2013 – Last Day to make reservations in the University Union
June 2013 – Vacate Student Union, see [Relocation Plan]
June 2013-June 2015 – Union Construction
June 2015 – Union Soft Opening
August 2015 – Union Grand Opening
Please keep in mind that we will be doing our very best to stay transparent throughout this process, so you know everything that is going on with the Union. We will have continuous updates on Facebook, Twitter, and on our webpage. We will have construction cameras, observations decks, tours, and many other ways for you to see exactly what is going on. And finally, we will continue to seek your opinion through various student forums and design discussions, so please keep an eye out for these opportunities.
Thank you so much for your support up to this point and know that we need YOU now more than ever.
Your Union, Your Voice!