Student union construction coming soon

Northern Kentucky University has seen a lot of changes lately. The University has received a new lake, which is nearing completion. It is scheduled to receive a new arena for the sports groups to use. Now, it appears that another new building will soon be gracing the campus.

The new Student Union building, scheduled to start being built soon, will be between the University Center and Nunn Hall. The Union, a three story building, will house many facilities that are currently in use in the University Center. The Student Union Building, according to manager Steve Meier in the Dean of Students Office, will begin at the grass area just behind UC, and will stretch out to halfway into Parking Lot A. The bridge that Albright Students currently use to get into the upper levels of that building will go away, as all students will have to enter through the lower levels.

Some people may be worried about the parking situation, what with half of Parking Lot A going away. Both Meier and Schuh were quick to assure that the new garage will be able to handle the difference. Schuh said, “The Kenton Drive Parking Garage was constructed to provide spaces that would be needed when construction of the Student Union takes Lot A off-line. The garage has 682 spaces and Lot A has 291.” Schuh also said, “The University Drive garage has not been filling up this year, and if you’ve been on campus awhile you might know that prior to the opening of the Kenton Drive garage, the University Drive garage would usually be full by 10:30 or so.” She also said that the lower section of Lot J is out of commission because of the lake construction. She said that when that comes back online, it would also help things.

Meier also said that there might be, if it can be worked in, a bridge from the second floor of the University Center to the third floor of the Student Union. All of the food shops will go into the Student Union, while also there will be a Starbucks in the corner of the first floor.

The Commons room in the center will be coming over to the Student Union. The bookstore, however, will remain in the Center, and will take over the upper TV area as a second floor area of the bookstore.

Student Media, however, will not be included in the move. “It was just a matter of what would fit into the building and prioritizing,” Campus Planning Director Mary Paula Schuh said. “You can only fit so many programs into a building,” said Dean of Students Kent Kelso. However, he is enthusiastic about the project. “It will be the front door to the campus.”