The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved plans for a new student center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) during its meeting Friday, June 14, 2013.
The center will focus space for student activities, gatherings and services, including a student welcome center. It will provide more than 150,000 square feet of meeting, conference and auditorium space; student organization spaces; upgraded dining facilities; a bookstore; and a one-stop student services center for admissions, course registration, student accounting, parking, financial aid and student ID functions.
The board approved plans drafted by Hastings & Chivetta, an architectural firm with experience creating student life facilities partnering with Birmingham’s Herrington Architects.
“The new center will enhance the overall experience for both current and prospective students,” said UAB Vice Provost for Administration and Quality Improvement Harlan Sands. “This project exemplifies UAB’s commitment to our students, and I am pleased that the Board of Trustees appreciates the benefit of offering such a center for our students.”
The new center will replace the Hill University Center (HUC) at the corner of University Boulevard and 14th Street and is expected to be complete for the Fall 2015 semester. Demolition of the HUC, which opened in 1983, is expected to begin in August 2013.
UAB staff has begun preparations to move offices, the UAB Bookstore and the Blazer Café out of the HUC ahead of demolition. An HUC Moving Plan map has been posted online that shows where the offices and facilities in the HUC are being relocated during construction. All staff and offices are scheduled to be out of the building by the end of June.
“Excitement for the construction of a new student center is building,” said Carolyn Farley, director of Academic and Student Services. “What we’re going to get is going to create a much better student experience.”