Student union opening is delayed, again. Students say it’s a “huge inconvenience.”

Posted on Jan 29 2019 - 5:50am by Grant McLaughlin

The opening date for the renovated Ole Miss Student Union has been delayed again after it was initially projected to be completed earlier this year. The union is now set to open later this semester.

“The design and construction teams, made up of architects, engineers and construction experts, have worked together to minimize delays and keep the quality of the work up to university standards,” said Bradley Baker, director of the Ole Miss Student Union.

The Ole Miss Student Union is now to be completed and open later this semester after several setbacks. Photo by Christian Johnson

The university began construction on the student union in 2015, reopened the food court in August 2017 and plans to relocate offices and organizations like the Ole Miss Bookstore and Associated Student Body offices back to the union upon completion.

“Of course, I wish it could’ve opened sooner so that I could have a longer time to enjoy (it) before I graduate, but I also understand that there are so many factors that are outside of the university’s control,” ASB President Elam Miller said. “I’m thankful for Bradley Baker’s work in making sure the union is perfect for the students here.”

Once complete, the student union will also accommodate the Student Activities Association, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement and student study spaces.

The construction was originally set to be complete in early 2019 at the cost of around $60 million.

“It’s going to cost just over $60 million,” said Ian Banner, director of Facilities Planning and university architect. “There’s nothing to hide at all.”

After nearly four years, many students are growing annoyed with the prolonged construction.

“I think it’s a huge inconvenience to current students that the opening keeps getting delayed because I know everyone has been waiting for this for so long,” sophomore accounting major Olivia Prescott said. “The construction is also in the line of my daily walk to class, and it definitely gets in the way of student-traffic flow.”

The Ole Miss Student Union is now to be completed and open later this semester after several setbacks. Photo by Christian Johnson

Baker said the student union is the heart of the Ole Miss campus and the center of student life. He expects the renovation and addition to be completed by the end of the semester.

“The completed project will be a hub for student interactions and reinvigorate the heart of the Ole Miss campus,” Baker said. “We are excited to welcome back the true living room to campus later this semester.”