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There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.
THE
BULLETIN
Volume 73 | Issue 3
May 2005

Union Spotlight: Park Student Center at University of Arizona

History

Park Student Union was constructed in 1965 as a dining facility and continued to serve that sole function until 2003. That year, it underwent a renovation and addition project, which expanded its services and scope to be more in line with the philosophy of a comprehensive college union.

Unique features

Park Student Union is a good example of how to take a building with one purpose (in this case, residential hall dining) and transform it into a multipurpose facility without having to do a new build and being able to retain some of nice older features of the building. Since the original building was constructed in the 1960's it needed updating because of three main situations. Primarily, the building needed to meet ADA standards. The only accessible elevator available required people to enter at the back dock and go through the kitchen to get upstairs. Secondly, there was no sprinkler system throughout the building. And finally, there was a great need to add student space because of the residential location of this union. While the existing structure was renovated, an addition was built behind the existing facility where a small service parking lot used to be. Space was added for student newspaper offices as well as the student radio station. The radio station now pumps its broadcast into the courtyard and dining room. There are three new performance spaces, and a games room was added as well as a study lounge with computer stations and private study corrals. New meeting rooms all have the capability of being opened up (via airwalls) to support larger groups or catered events. The dining room features more storefront space and a recreation area that has a large-screen television, two billiards tables, a performance stage, e-mail stations, and lounging areas while retaining the original wood walls.

Students' role

All aspects of Park Student Union involve students through employment and volunteerism. The student building managers are in charge of the facility during the day and night and weekends to ensure security and safety, quality customer service, and smooth execution of events. The information desk staff and the set-up crew are each an all-student staff. The programming is planned by a graduate student intern and student volunteers. The majority of the dining services employees are students as well.

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Urban, commuter, public, four-year
FULL-TIME ENROLLMENT: 35,000

PARK STUDENT UNION
DIRECTOR OR EQUIVALENT: Tamara Y. De Stefanis
SIZE OF THE UNION: 50,000 square feet
NUMBER OF FLOORS: 2
BUILT: 1965
TOTAL NUMBER OF