Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 19, 2010

VSU’s ‘campus living room’

Completion of new Student Union celebrated

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University presented its newest facility — its “campus living room” — to the community Tuesday.

Constructed at the intersection of Oak Street and Baytree Road, the $40-plus million Student Union officially opened its doors on Jan. 7.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony allowed those who participated in its development, construction and completion a peek at what students have enjoyed since the start of spring semester classes.

President Patrick Schloss touted the state-of-the-art Student Union as the gateway to the campus.

“This is a new area where students can congregate, and as relationships develop, it will help create bonds that last a lifetime,” he said. “It takes facilities like this to do that.”

Schloss thanked former Valdosta State University presidents Dr. Ronald Zaccari and Dr. Hugh Bailey for emphasizing student and facility development.

As an artist and a man with a vision, Zaccari laid the foundation that helped keep Bailey’s vision for the campus in focus, Schloss said.

The three-story, 113,000-square-foot Student Union stands where the old 35,000-square-foot Student Union and gymnasium once stood.

The Student Union has a 322-seat auditorium; a two-story university bookstore providing a tech shop, textbooks and university merchandise; the Union Station game room; various lounge areas; office space; a ball room; and three restaurants.

The Loop Pizza Grill, which called the old Student Union home, has returned to main campus. It can be found alongside Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Starbucks Coffee.

Valdosta State budgeted $43 million for the cost of the facility and is currently estimating that the Student Union will come in under budget, said Rob Kellner, director of auxiliary services.

State Senator Seth Harp (R-Midland), chairman of the Higher Education Committee, congratulated Valdosta State University on its progress as a state institution.

Based on talks with others around the country in regards to combating the recession and preserving education, Harp said one statement is repeated.

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