Ole Miss Student Union Opens After $60 Million Renovation & Expansion

OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI) – A four year project that gave the Student Union at Ole Miss a major makeover is complete.

As the official ribbon cutting ceremony was underway on new steps and a larger porch, inside the Ole Miss Student Union things were busy.

Four years ago, work began on a $60 million project to renovate and enlarge the Student Union, originally built in 1977.

“The most important thing for us to push, this is more than just a place to grab something to eat, or a place to pick up your books, we want students to get engaged here, meet new people, have fun here and meet new people and really enjoy their experience at Ole Miss,” said Bradley Baker, Director of the Student Union.

An 80,000 square foot addition includes five well known food vendors, kitchens, and a ballroom. The renovated portion houses a Barnes and Noble Bookstore, coffee shop, and offices for various student organizations.

“There’s even a senate auditorium for our ASB Senate to meet every week, to discuss legislation like that, to affect larger student body,” said Graduate Student Kendrick Wallace.

“It gives so much more opportunity to have a cultivating environment to make sure our student leaders have a place to meet, to share their ideas, plan events and to have community,” said Graduate Student Blair Wortsmith, who is also “Miss University.”

Ole Miss students not only helped with designing and planning of the renovated and expanded student union, they are also helping pay for it. Students agreed to a fifty dollar, per semester student fee that will be used for capital improvements.

“Students not only wanted the facility, they stepped forward and said, we will put our money where our mouth is, it’s that important to us,” said Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks.

“The hashtag that’s gone along with this year is hashtag, this is your union and that’s what it is, for these students to make most of their time here, make connections with faculty, staff and other students,” said Graduate Student Carrie Anne Bounds.

Enrollment has more than doubled since the original student union was built at Ole Miss in 1977.

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