North Texas Daily

University Union hosts ceremony for construction milestone

University Union hosts ceremony for construction milestone

University Union hosts ceremony for construction milestone
September 03
18:26 2014

Steven James / Staff Writer

In honor of the new building’s highest steel beam being placed, the University Union staff will host the New UNT Union Topping Off Ceremony this Thursday 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Students who attend the ceremony will get to sign the beam that will be placed at the highest point of the steel frame.

The free celebration will take place at the Library Mall. UNT president Neal Smatresk will give remarks at 12:30 p.m. about the milestone point of construction. There will be free refreshments and barbecue.

Construction workers still have 100,000 square feet to add to the old building’s plot. It is  still on schedule for completion in Aug. 2015.

Assistant director of marketing and assessment Steven Meehin said this type of celebration is not uncommon for construction projects this large in scale.

“Students and the UNT community as a whole are encouraged to attend the ceremony for the opportunity to literally leave your mark on the project,” Meehin said. “This also means that you’ll start to see the walls going up and the building will really begin to take shape, which is really exciting.”

He also said if people have any questions about the building or want to see pictures or updates they should follow #NewUNTunion on social media.

Union director Zane Reif said the ceremony also marks the construction’s halfway point.

“In all honesty, I think that construction is always a nuisance, and to walk around a construction site is always a nuisance,” Reif said. “But if you look at it in a positive way, which I do, anytime that I see construction on a campus, or within a city, that means there’s growth and there’s vitality. I think the end goal is a lot better than the journey to get there.”

Union marketing assistant and co-chair for the Master Plan Committee and biology senior Xavier Carson said sometime in late October or early November students and faculty will be able to take virtual tours of the construction site on union.unt.edu.

“I think certainly students wish it was completed right now, but I think most students are keeping a positive outlook and that once the Union opens it is going to be one of the most unique buildings on campus, and a place for the students to call home,” Carson said. “I think the majority of students are keeping a positive outlook and don’t see the construction as a burden or an obstacle, but almost as a significance of progress being made.”

Other major events being hosted by the Union are UnionFest on March 11 and the grand opening, which will be in August.

Featured Image: Students sign a support beam that will be included in the construction of the Union. The beam will be placed during the Union celebration ceremony on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Photo by Dillion Jones – Staff Photographer

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