Union Redevelopment gets the green light

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and we’re feelin’ goooood.

The University Court voted on the 25th of January to go ahead with the Union Redevelopment, which will cost up to £12 million.

The project, beginning on March 4th, marks the first time in approximately 40 years that construction has been done on the Union, which was built in the 1970s for a student population that could comfortably fit in the Lizard. It’s hoped that the renovation will be completed by 2015.

The new Union will include a shiny new entrance and car park area, a street-facing cafe, new venues and a completely redesigned Venue 1 capable of fitting an additional 270 persons.  There will be an increase of 40% in society spaces, which includes a radio broadcasting facility, film editing suite, and design suite. The Main Bar will be split into smaller areas, each with their own identity and suitable for different activities. Venue 2 will redeveloped into a Sky Bar fitting of the St Andrews high life, especially suitable for postgraduate students. Those postgrads do love sky bars.

The redevelopment is being financed by the University coffers, private donations, as well as the Student’s Association, which is contributing £750,000 of its own funds. President Freddie fforde said “We have been saving up for this moment over many years, despite an increasingly difficult environment. This is a real success story for what the Association and University can achieve when we work together.”

Though the New Union represents a modern age of available society space, the path to get there will be loud with the ongoing sound of jackhammers. Fforde said on the subject, “Our societies have been asked to exercise patience and understanding with use of the building whilst redevelopment works go on. Unfortunately, the nature of works is that plans can change at no notice to us. We are doing the very best to obtain clear information and plan accordingly but this is not always under our control.”

The Student’s Association and the University remain optimistic about the redevelopment, which has been in the works for a number of years and will produce one of the greenest buildings in St Andrews. University Proctor Lorna Milne said “The University has to be extremely careful about the way it spends and commits money in this challenging and volatile economic climate, but the Union has long been a priority for us and giving the green light to this major project is a reflection of how much we value the St Andrews student experience.”

Students can follow the progress on the redevelopment here, as well as on The Stand.


Image courtesy of Your Union Redevelopment Facebook page