As part of construction for the new Student Union, the Student Union Green, portions of the walkway adjacent to the Student Union, the Green Center and parking lot G are all closed off. Demolition of these areas will begin in February.
Gene Fitch, Vice President of Student Affairs, said that the new SU and Student Success Center will be built in place of the Green Center and Lot G, and that the Pub and the Green will be replaced with an expansion to the Gaming Center.
“Our first Student Union was opened in 1981 as I recall, when we had about 8,000 students,” UTD President Richard Benson said. “We are about four times that size now. [The Student Union] building has served us well for a long time, but over the course of time we have seen an immense amount of growth as the students come faster than everything else.”
In a meeting with Angie Chen Button, who sponsored the bill that gave UTD the funding for the expansion, Benson and Fitch shared preliminary details regarding the building while emphasizing that a new student union is necessary to meet the needs of the student population.
“The construction is in part funded by the students,” Benson said. “About a year and a half ago there was a referendum where students voted to raise their student union fee so that we could meet half our funding goals. The other half came from the state government in which we needed to get approval in both the house and senate.”
Demolition of The Pub and the Green Center will begin in mid to late February, according to Fitch. Without major delays, Fitch said that the construction should take approximately 18 months, with the new buildings set to open in fall 2026. This coincides with the projected opening of UTD’s Silver Line DART station.
“It is going to be the largest building on campus at about 370,000 square feet in total,” Fitch said.
Fitch said that groups currently housed in the SU will be moved into the new building, and that Student Government will get its own rooms. The new SU will include a dining area that seats 700 as well as a 14,000 square foot ballroom capable of accommodating up to 800 people for banquets.