The University of the Fraser Valley and its Student Union Society marked the start of the university year Tuesday by celebrating the opening of a $17.3 million Student Union Building (SUB).
The 46,700-square-foot SUB houses a variety of student-focused services, clubs, restaurants and other spaces. It represents the culmination of a collaborative design and construction effort that began in 2008.
The Student Union Society (SUS) oversees two-thirds of the building space with administrative responsibility for the operation of the facility.
UFV occupies one-third of the building’s footprint and student-focused services including Advising and the Career Centre are located there.
UFV president Mark Evered said the new SUB will inspire creativity and collaboration.
“I have no doubt that this will become the academic social centre of our Abbotsford campus, the kind of setting that almost demands creative conversation and collaboration.”
CIVL Radio and the Cascade newspaper are well established in their new locations on the second floor and the building also features a coffee bar, and the new SUS-run restaurant, The Canoe, has a modern West Coast design and offers a variety of menu items.
The building was financed on a cost-shared basis with UFV students contributing $10 million in funding through a $35 per semester fee and the university providing the balance of funding.
Craig Toews, UFV executive director of campus planning and resource development, said other universities are looking with interest into the innovative self-financing model for the project, which was achieved without government funding and with UFV not incurring debt.
The SUB is located at the southwest corner of the campus, just west of the Envision Athletic Centre.