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State building commission OKs new Union building project

February 25, 2009

The State Building Commission has unanimously approved plans for the new south campus union.

Alhough demolition has already begun and interior designs are still being finalized, this approval represents a major milestone in the building process because it signals the official transition from design to construction.

Demolition of Union South is to begin by the end of the month, with groundbreaking slated for June. The new building, as yet unnamed, will open in spring 2011. Workshop Architects of Milwaukee and partner firm Moody Nolan of Columbus, Ohio, along with Milwaukee-based builder C.G. Schmidt, the project construction manager, are working with Facilities, Planning and Management to ensure that all the appropriate campus and city building stipulations are addressed.

Union South, a fixture on the southern part of campus since it opened in 1971, had outgrown its usefulness. Results from surveys, focus groups and input from students, faculty, staff and members indicate that Union South was not fulfilling student needs. The Campus Master Plan calls for a new Union South to be built on the same site sometime in the next 20 years. Construction costs would only escalate over time. In 2006, students passed a referendum to help pay a little more than half the cost.

During demolition and construction of the new building, many of the former functions and activities at Union South will move to the transitional space formerly occupied by University Health Service at 1552 University Ave. The Breese Terrace Union (BTU) is opened for business and is hosting an open house from 8 a.m.–10 p.m. through Friday, Feb. 27.

For more information on where services have relocated from Union South, visit

For more information on the new south campus union building project, contact Dan Cornelius,, 334-5057, or Paul Broadhead,, 263-4588, or visit