UM Student Union Remodeling Project Underway

$50 million renovation and expansion will transform facility

Construction on the Student Union

Construction on the Student Union has begun.

OXFORD, Miss. – Work has begun on the highly-anticipated $50 million renovation and expansion of the University of Mississippi’s Student Union, an effort that will result in a larger dining area, new student government offices, a ballroom, conference space and other amenities by 2018. Upgrading the building will increase its size from 97,000 square feet to about 173,000 square feet.

Construction got underway Thursday (July 9), causing closure of the building’s parking area and side entrance. Guests can access the building through the Grove entrance as well as through the Barnes and Noble Café throughout the course of the project. ADA access is provided on the Grove side of the building during construction. Visitor parking is available on the Lyceum Circle.

“It’s going to dramatically improve what we can offer our students,” said Bradley Baker, director of the Ole Miss Student Union. “There will be an incredible synergy that includes a large work space so student organizations can collaborate together and a dedicated space for students to meet. With the addition of the Union Ballroom, we will have the ability to host banquets, musical acts or lectures. The significant increase in meeting space alone will create more opportunities for students and departments to utilize the Student Union more. This newly expanded and renovated Student Union will become the true heart of the campus.”

The renovations call for a new and expanded student lounge, dedicated student organization space, new administrative offices and the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. The renovation also includes a chamber room with theater-style seating that can be used for Associated Student Body Senate meetings and other events, he said. The expansion includes an 8,000-square-foot ballroom, with a large adjoining prep area, and a transit center.

The project will be handled in phases over about three-and-a-half years, which should minimize disruption. The food court will remain open throughout construction.

While studying alternatives for the renovations, UM officials toured several schools with larger enrollments than Ole Miss, finding many either didn’t have post offices on campus or had far fewer boxes than UM. The committee decided the best idea was to renovate the lower level of the building for other purposes and close the on-campus branch of the U.S. Postal Service. Campus mail services continue with a new system.

“It’s just part of the complete renovated Union process,” said Clayton Jones, UM assistant vice chancellor and director of human resources and contractual services. “I think the important thing is we still have mail to the departments and mail to our students.”

The 10,000-square foot post office closed permanently in 2014.