Student Unions Coming Soon

By Gianna Ward

College of Southern Nevada is building student unions on each of its three major campuses with construction starting this summer.

CSN’s goal for the unions is to provide students with an area that will allow for collaboration, engagement and gathering outside of classrooms.

“Several years ago the College completed a space and utilization study of its campuses,” said Sherri Payne, senior associate vice president of Facilities Management who has been working closely with the project. “The report from the study indicated that, compared to other colleges around the nation, CSN lacked a student collaboration space. We currently do not have a lot of spaces for students to go between classes or to find a place to study or collaborate with other students. These unions will help address this deficiency.”

“The design development for the facilities has been completed,” Payne said. “Currently, we are working through the construction document phase of the project. The construction documents convert the design of the building into working documents that the contractor can build from. We are 50 percent through this process. We anticipate that we will be able to begin construction around the end of July or first of August.”

Each building will be approximately 25,000 square feet, nearly identical, and include a food court, large and small meeting rooms, study spaces, courtyards, student-government offices, advising offices, a multicultural center and sitting areas, according to a March 2017 report from the State Legislature that explains the project and financial plan.

In that same report, it was stated that the Board of Regents approved an $81 million budget for the student-union buildings based on bond capacity.

Payne added that CSN contributed $7 million to the project but the remaining is financed through a registration fee increase. The increase, which started fall 2017, is $8 per credit during fall and spring semesters and $3 per credit for summer term. Once the facilities are open, there will also be a $1 per credit registration fee for the operations and maintenance of the facilities.

Payne said CSN engaged members in student government during the beginning proposal process and the school conducted a student survey that showed students’ approval of the union despite the costs.

Kalvin McCullough, CSN student, doesn’t mind the increases. “It still not that bad. Honestly it’ll be worth it in the end just by the means of what it could do for CSN and even with the rise, the school still remains considerably cheaper than University of Nevada, Las Vegas.”

Students like Carlos Morales are looking forward to the extra space on campus.

Morales said, “A lot of people I know just sit around in random spots on campus because they have two or three hours in between classes. Something like this would make a better place for us to meet up with each other for group projects and hang around to kill time.”

Tanyaradzwa Muzorewa, a pre-nursing student at CSN, said, “I’ll take my nursing classes in September at CSN and I sometimes use the library and student union at UNLV and it feels nice when I go there. I have several options for food unlike when I’m at Charleston campus. I walk into the library and nearby there is an outlet with just chips and dry sandwiches. There is more variety elsewhere. Hopefully they will be able to bring in outside restaurants on campus so I don’t have to drive out.”

Attend the CSN Student Union Construction Kickoff Celebration at Henderson campus May 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. behind Building C. Students can view interactive building models and discuss plans with the builder and architect while picking up grab bags full of free stuff.

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