By Bob Romantic
GCU News Bureau
The two signature buildings at Grand Canyon University – the Arena and College of Arts and Sciences Building – are about to get some company.
GCU will break ground next week on a four-story addition to the Student Union that will become a focal point on campus with its arched, arena-like glass façade on the north side of the building.
“It’s going to be very cool,” said Butch Glispie, owner of Pono Construction. “There will be a lot of glass, a lot of block. There will be some spectacular views from both inside and out.”
The four-story addition will encompass 58,000 square feet and be built on the north side of the Student Union. The first floor will be an extension of the current Student Union dining area and is targeted for completion by Aug. 15, when student enrollment is expected to increase to 8,500.
For the second floor, the University is in discussions with Starbucks to create a large coffee shop and seating area. Balcony seating will also be available on the second floor.
Designs for the upper floors are still being finalized, but the plan is to relocate Fleming Library to that location, creating a bookstore-like atmosphere in the building where students and employees can read or study and enjoy a cup of coffee.
“It will be a gathering space,” said Charlie Sirokman, project director for campus development. “It will be very relaxing and very inviting and very urban-ish.”
A construction fence around the north side of the Union will be erected this weekend, cutting off the north entrance to the building and eliminating vehicle traffic in front of Hegel Hall. Pedestrian traffic will be redirected to the east and west of the Union, and additional cashiers will be added to the south entrance of the Union to speed up the flow of people entering.
To allow for Sodexo Food Service vehicle deliveries, the bollards in front of the Public Safety Office at Camelback Hall and by the Student Union will be removed. Signage will be erected to indicate this entry is for delivery only and not a through street.
“Our primary objective is to have the first floor done in August for all the new students arriving on campus in the fall,” said Rich Oesterle, GCU’s assistant director of campus development. He added that upper floors would likely be completed in the following months.
Reach Bob Romantic at 602-639-7611 or [email protected].