UBC Vancouver Students Endorse Largest Donation to Build New $110M Student Union Building at University Square

The Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC-Vancouver Student Council has voted in favour of an $85 million investment in a new Student Union Building (SUB) to be constructed at University Square.

The University will invest $25 million in the estimated cost of the 255,000 sq. ft.-building, slated to begin construction in 2012 and open its doors in 2014.

The student investment, which amounts to the largest single donation in UBC’s history, was outlined in an UBC-AMS Memorandum of Understanding approved last night by the AMS council. The contribution will be financed through an incremental levy on future student fees paid to the AMS to begin this September.

“We welcome wholeheartedly our students’ investment in a facility that is undoubtedly one of the most widely used in campus life,” says UBC President Stephen Toope. “Its relocation to our planned University Square will also help create a welcoming sense of arrival for students, alumni and visitors to UBC and encourage interaction between students, faculty, staff, alumni and our University Town residents.”

“UBC students have a long history of improving student life on their campus through the development of facilities including the War Memorial Gym, the Aquatic Centre and Brock Hall,” says AMS President Michael Duncan. “I commend our current students for their foresight to recognize a need for many services and their commitment to provide them through the construction of a new SUB.”

“University Square and the new SUB represent UBC and its student body’s strong commitment to deepening student engagement and providing commuter students with greater access and services,” says Brian Sullivan, Vice-President, Students.

“The new SUB will be larger and more environmentally progressive than the current building,” said AMS VP Admin Tristan Markle. “It will contain an expansion of existing student amenities, but also a host of new spaces and services for the great diversity of AMS members, with an emphasis on public space and community building.”

The current SUB was built in 1968. The AMS held a student referendum earlier this year, in which the majority of those who voted supported a levy for a new building. The new SUB will feature sustainable construction practices and designs and will strive for a LEED Platinum designation. It is anticipated that certain areas will be shared with a new Alumni Centre also to be on University Square.

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