LAWRENCE, KS – After nearly 40 years since it’s opening, KU’s original Burge Union will be torn down and rebuilt to accommodate the constant growth of student population. The University held a decommissioning ceremony to honor the original Unions director Frank Burge, while presenting some mock images for the future building. The KU Memorial Unions offered food and drinks as well as Burge’s favorite confection, Muncher mini-rolls, to the guests.
“We are of course here to really at the forefront to honor Frank Burge who this beautiful and soon to be more beautiful building was named after,” Lauren Arney, President of the Memorial unions Corporation Board said.
Initially known as the Satellite Student Union, the Burge Union opened in 1979. The scheduled renovation is part of KU’s $350 dollar Central District Redevelopment Plan.
“We wanted students to have a student center on that side of campus,” Arney said. “There’s a huge athletic center over there and then there’s also all the daisy hill students so we wanted to make sure that they had a place to have meetings and also study.”
While the new building is expected to feature additional amenities, many offices and services will not be returning to the union. Those services include:
- University Career Services
- Legal Services for Students
- The Students Veterans Lounge
- Student Housing Apartment Living Office
- KU IT Help Desk Services
- Crimson Café
Jessie Pringle, Student Body President said how students have always been instrumental in the direction and funding of the Unions here on campus. She also mentioned some of the things students can expect to find at the new Central District Union.
“Student senate provided the resources and the space for a continuation of the legal services for students, the new sexual assault prevention and education center space, room for a reflection room, as well as the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity,” Pringle said.
Both Pringle and Arney unscrewed and removed the Burge Union dedication plaque. The plaque is will be preserved and later re-displayed once the replacement union is built.
Although the replacement building is going to be less square footage, the layout is expected to be much more flexible for students.
“It’ll be a lot more efficient use of space and hopefully that will increase the use of the union,” Arney said.
The name has yet to be decided for the new building, but there is a chance it will also be named Burge Union. The building will close for good this Friday and demolition is set to begin later this spring. You can expect the new union to reopen in fall, 2018.