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Major changes ahead for Ole Miss Student Union

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Updated: 3/06/2014 8:33 pm
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- The Ole Miss Student Union has seen countless students come and go through its doors since first opening in the 1970s.

The union will soon undergo major renovations and a huge expansion.

"There's been no expansion to the building since 1976 when it came on line. The student population has more than doubled. Now, we're going to essentially double the size of the building itself," said Ole Miss architect Ian Banner.

With a $50 million price tag, the union will go from 97,000 square feet to 157,000 square feet.

The expansion will happen on the north end of the current facility.

The union's director says they've simply run out of space.

"When you're looking at lines going out of the food court or people looking for places to sit to eat then we want to address those problems. Right now, we have three meeting rooms in the building. Our new union will have 9 rooms, and including the ball room, it's ten. That's great for us," said Bradley Baker, Student Union director.

Expansion work on the union will start this summer and, once it's complete, renovations on the existing building will begin.

School officials traveled to other universities to get some ideas for the new Student Union.

The goal is to make the union the true heart of the Oxford campus for all who come here, especially the students.

"This is there home base. This is the place they can come to, relax, eat and engage with one another. They can work on student activities and it's the heart of the campus geographically," said Banner.

The project will take at least four years to complete.
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