Finally, SFU has plan for student union building, but it'll cost $65 million
Like a lot of our readers, I spent several years at the hilltop prison known as Simon Fraser University. Actually, unlike some of my fellow alumni, I actually appreciated the imposing campus architecture there.
But something many of us could probably agree on was that a student union building was sorely missing on Burnaby Mountain. This was an issue that student politicians and activists bemoaned constantly, but it was always just talk back then.
Now, talk has turned into action. The Simon Fraser Student Society has just taken the wraps off a proposal to build a $65-million student space on campus. The Build SFU project would see the construction of a student union building and a stadium—yes, a stadium—funded by the student body.
The SFU SUB would have a gross area of 100,000 square feet and a net area (excluding spaces like hallways and walkways) of 70,000 square feet, with room for clubs and social space. As for the outdoor stadium, it would contain 2,500 seats, with about 500 of them covered, and be used for SFU sports, concerts, and other events.
From looking at the architectural renderings of the project, it appears that the SUB will be built on the site of the SFU swimming pool. Indeed, the Build SFU site states: "The building itself is starting off environmentally friendly as we are repurposing an old building’s frame instead of using new materials and constructing from the ground up."
From March 20 to 22, undergraduate students will vote in an online referendum on the proposal. If they vote yes, they'll be paying for the project for years to come. Students would be charged a new semesterly levy, starting at $10 in January 2014 for full-timers. The fee would increase by $10 every January, taking it up to $20 per semester in 2015, $30 per semester in 2016, and so on.
If the SUB and stadium get approved, it'll take four or five years to complete the project. It's up to SFU students to decide whether it's worth it.