Students, faculty, and FLC supporters pitch in for the Student Union groundbreaking ceremony in 2009.
By the students, for the students. That's the story of FLC's new Student Union.
The $41.5 million refurbishing and expansion of the former College Union Building creates a vibrant new hub of campus life, energizing the student experience at FLC. And it has been, from conception to design to funding, a student-driven endeavor.
"The union is the living room of campus. And now we have a union for which we can be proud," says Vice President of Student Affairs Glenna Sexton. "For all the future Fort Lewis students, I thank the current Fort Lewis students. Because of them, there is a legacy for which they can be proud."
For a long time, both the Fort Lewis College administration and the student leadership had seen a need for a modern student union to replace the College Union Building, which opened in 1967. In the mid-2000s, representatives from the College administration and the student government began examining the possibilities for a new building, even traveling to other campuses across the country to view examples of student unions.
In 2006, it was time to act. And it was the students themselves who led the charge, by voting to institute a new student fee to pay the majority of the construction costs of a new student union for FLC. Private donors bridged the gap to the project's completion. (See sidebar)
It didn't end there, though. A major part of designing the actual building was getting student input. Early on, the new student union's architects placed banners with images of potential design ideas around the existing College Union Building and asked students to write their thoughts, ideas, and visions on those posters.
In just a few days, the pictures were covered with suggestions. Then the architects set to work, integrating as much that student input as possible into the building's design plans.
The result: A beautiful, modern, and environmentally sound center of student activities, academic explorations, and social interaction. Basically, a great place for FLC students to hang out, do stuff, meet people, and get things done -- together.
"Student participation, collective vision, and student funding are what make this building the students'," said Brayton Thurber (English, '07), student body president at the time of the student-fee institution. "That's a very exciting thing. Now, it's the students' house. This is something for students to call their own and improve upon for the next generations."
These generous donors each contributed $25,000 or more to the creation of the new Student Union. We couldn't have done it without them!
Allen and Pat Beaubien Born
AWC Family Foundation
Blackstone Charitable Trust
Coca Cola Bottling Company/Durango-Farmington
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Don and Jan Ricedorff
El Pomar Foundation
Erteszek Family Foundation
First National Bank of Durango
J. Douglas and Priscilla H. Shand
La Plata Electric Association, Inc.
Peter R. Decker and Family
Richard G. and Mary Lyn Ballantine
Robert and Kelly Hill
Ruth and Dave West
Terry R. Bacon and Debra A. Parmenter
The Don and Sandra Mapel Family
The Kresge Foundation
The John and Sophie Ottens Foundation
U.S. Department of Education
William and Beatrice Thurston