January 18, 2010

What We Think: VSU’s newest signature building

January 18, 2010

Valdosta State University’s main campus now has a new signature building.

At 10 a.m. today, President Patrick J. Schloss and the VSU Auxiliary Services Real Estate Foundation Inc. will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for VSU’s new Student Union.

The impressive 113,000-square-foot structure sits at the intersection of Baytree Road and Oak Street. The old 35,000-square-foot Student Union and the old gymnasium were demolished to provide room for its construction.

Costing $37 or so million, the new Student Union officially opened to students at the start of Spring 2010 classes.

The three-story structure houses meeting rooms, a theatre, a food court, a game room, a bookstore and student and administrative offices.

The theater can accommodate approximately 300 people. It is equipped with Dolby surround sound and a 10x17-foot movie screen and will be used to showcase movie series, student speakers, acoustic-type performers, comedians and other shows.

A new 20,000-square-foot bookstore replaces the existing facility located on Patterson Street and the Tech Shop located in Langdale Hall. The new two-story bookstore has an expanded textbook area, as well as retail area. It also has a convenience store located near the theater.

The game room has pool tables, tennis tables and tables for board and card games. Video games are available to play on a big-screen television.

The food court boasts some old and new favorites for students both on the go and those having time for a relaxing meal with friends. Food venues run the gamut of The Loop Pizza Grill, Starbucks and Nathan's Famous Hotdogs.

The list of amenities goes on and on.

The new Student Union, paid for by the students, is a sight to behold.

A committee comprised of students, faculty and staff was formed in 2004 to study the feasibility of a new Student Union. It was determined that the original facility was inadequate to serve Valdosta State University's growing student enrollment.

Recently, Valdosta State University reached a big milestone when its fall semester 2009 enrollment climbed to 12,391 students — an increase of 7.84 percent from fall semester 2008 and the school’s largest one-year enrollment growth in 16 years.

The number of undergraduate students is up 6.39 percent, with 10,328 students enrolled, and graduate student enrollment is up 15.77 percent, representing 2,063 students.

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