The Student Union Plaza is one of several gathering spaces created by the new building.
Starting this Fall, there is a new nexus of campus life at Fort Lewis. The renovated and expanded Student Union (the grand opening for which will be Tuesday, Sept. 6 -- see sidebar) is now the hub for student entertainment and activities, where the campus community can go to study or read, find inspiration in speakers and lectures, get entertained with movies and performances, or share lunch or a cup of coffee while making life-long friendships and connections with other community members.
The $40.5 million refurbishing and expansion of the Student Union also was awarded LEED Gold status in August by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainability features, continuing Fort Lewis College's commitment to environmentally sound practices. The building includes recycling and composting systems, natural lighting, and two solar energy projects: a solar hot water system and a roof-top photovoltaic system. (Monitor the Student Union's solar cells' electrical output here.)
Think of the new Student Union as the Main Street of campus, a place for meals, entertainment, getting together, and activities for student organizations -- the campus' social and cultural center. As such, the new Student Union is home for the Native American Center and El Centro de Muchos Colores, as well as student government, the Environmental Center, the post office, and the campus bookstore. The new Student Union also features several dining options, and houses both the Leadership Center and a new Media Center.
The state-of-the-art Ballantine Media Center brings together student media in a central location, including The Independent news magazine, Intertribal News webpage, and Images literary journal, as well as a television production studio, giving students the chance to learn from and collaborate with other students, faculty, and media professionals. The biggest changes, though, come to KDUR, the campus radio station. KDUR's new studios sport all-new equipment, a new soundboard, and the ability to transmit in digital radio HD format, creating all sorts of space and opportunity for new and additional programming.
While the newly renovated Student Union offers up lots of new things to do and quality places to do them, at the center of it all -- both figuratively and physically -- is the Dr. Terry R. Bacon Leadership Center. The new Center unites campus' 60+ RSOs in a central location, providing resource, services, and a space where, in the true spirit of the Liberal Arts, students can explore options and avenues for manifesting their interests and passions that lay outside the scope of their classwork -- while learning about themselves and their leadership skills on the way.
Fort Lewis College is a campus full of students with passions, dreams, ambitions, and stories to tell. With the new Student Union, they now have a place to study, explore, and share those treasures.
Learn more about the new Student Union here.