UAHuntsville breaks ground on student life center

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A former student, a current student and a future student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville broke ground today on Charger Union, the new student life center scheduled to be constructed in the center of the university’s campus.

ground breaking3327

UAHuntsville held groundbreaking ceremonies today for a 90,000-square-foot student union building today. The facility should be ready for the spring 2014 semester. Those participating in the ceremony are, from left: New student Michael Gilmore, Dean of Students Regina Hyatt, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Student Government Association President Caroline Butler, President Bob Altenkirch and UAH Alumni Association President Michelle Reavis.

The new social gathering spot, which will contain 90,000 square feet, is expected to cost $25 million, and will provide space for retail, food vendors, dining and student activities. The building will be located on the south side of Holmes Avenue at its intersection with the planned campus greenway. Occupancy is expected to take place by the end of 2013.

A “bridge” component should provide safe pedestrian traffic across Holmes Avenue. The bridge will also enhance student interaction with the building during their daily commute. Streetscape improvements included with the building will be designed to create safer pedestrian traffic across Holmes.

The building’s plaza and wide, ground-level passages will create natural gathering spaces, which will serve to increase student activity on campus.

North Aerial

The architectural character will present an iconic visual reference using established materials across campus including architectural concrete, “Charger Blend” brick, glass curtain walls and metal panels. Expanses of glass will showcase student gatherings such as the dining area, lounge area, and gaming space, highlighting the vibrancy of student life.

Architectural concrete panels will effectively enclose the theater component, while using the building’s exterior as a canvas for night-time movie projections. The metal panel will dynamically flow through building forms, wrapping horizontal and vertical surfaces, signifying areas of entrance and special prominence. The use of colored LED exterior light projections on building surfaces will further embrace “Charger spirit” or can be used for significant celebrations or social/community awareness programs.

Construction is under way after the facility received approval by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees earlier this year.

For more information,
contact Ray Garner