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Final days of HUC fast approaching; new $48.5M center by 2015
The demolition of the Hill University Center (HUC) is set at the beginning of August, and replaced with the new student center above. The new $48.5 million student center is expected to be complete in time for the fall 2015 semester.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni came for a final reunion on Wednesday. The attendees reminiscence on the past of the HUC.
HUC was built in 1983 as the University Center. It was renamed Hill University Center in honor of S. Richardson Hill, Jr., UAB’s second president, for his work to move UAB from a commuter school to a student-involved university.
“It’s a bittersweet moment. For 30 years this building has been at the heart of UAB, certainly for our students,” said Harlan Sands, vice provost for Administration and Quality Improvement.
“I’m a little sad,” said Gina Henderson, a rising junior. “I’m used to it always being there.”
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.
“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.”
While the new student center will be under construction, many offices will be situated in various locations around campus. Many students complained about the accessibility of the offices.
“I think that it’s a waste of your tuition money. They just refinished the bottom half this past year. Is tearing it down really necessary?” said Rachel Rhinehart, rising junior.
“It’s awful! Don’t get me wrong, the new student center will be amazing. But in the meantime, it’s pure chaos,” said Megan Woodruff, rising sophomore.
To accommodate the problem, UAB Transportation will be providing a 24-hour shuttle bus shuttle system. The stops will be located so that all points on campus are no more than a five-minute walk from a stop.
“Yeah, I am glad there will be shuttle buses this year. That should help,” said Henderson.
“The system will be a transformational step for UAB,” said Chris Clifford, Associate Vice President for Business and Auxiliary Services. “It will provide reliable, timely and customer-friendly transportation service to the entire UAB community, especially with the tearing down of the HUC.”
The final days of the HUC are approaching quickly, and soon the university will have a new building to call home.
Additional information provided by UAB News.
At a Glance New Hill Student Center
Size: Over 150,000 square feet
Cost: $48.5 million
Completion date: Fall 2015
Features: Upgraded dining facilities; In-house bookstore; Student organization spaces; One-stop student services center; Meeting, conference and auditorium space