North Texas Daily

Current union celebrates 64th birthday

Current union celebrates 64th birthday

March 06
16:32 2013

Anna Frosch

Intern

Today at 7am, the UPC kicked-off Union Fest with free coffee and coffee cake for students. The daylong event featured 27 different food vendors to mark the union’s 64th anniversary, but was not a celebration for the building itself. The festival is highlighting the fact that students have a student-oriented building.

“Any time there is free food there is going to be a crowd of students,” said Chelsea Beeson, pre-RTVF freshman.

Students were entertained by a wide variety of acts, like DJs, a caricature artist, magicians, body artists, guitarists and many giveaway drawings. Union Fest wrapped up with a showing of Les Miserables at 7pm in the Lyceum and Lab Bands at 9pm in the Syndicate, featuring the U-tubes and Jazz Repertory.

The current union is actually an expansion of a previous design from the 1960s, and will be demolished sometime later this year to make way for a new building, scheduled to open in 2015. The original building was a remodeled surplus store, dedicated on March 31,1949, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the legislative act establishing the university.

“I like this building,” interdisciplinary studies freshman Jaime Townley said. “I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when the building is gone.”

A main reason for renovating the current union is to accommodate UNT’s 36,000 students, which is twice the amount the union is designed to hold. The new building will gain more than 100,000 square feet, said Mark Parker, assistant director of programs at the Union.

“Its an end of an era,” Parker said. “On a nostalgic side, it is sad to lose such a recognizable building for many generations of UNT students. I’ll probably shed a tear or two when it comes down.”

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