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 Robert M. Smith Student Center Construction History 



Benchmark dates for the new Student Center:

October 2012 - The official ribbon-cutting ceremony occurred during Homecoming festivities.  University president Dr. Cheryl J. Norton, former SRU president Dr. Robert M. Smith, and current and former student leaders participated in the ceremony.

July 2012 - Occupants begin the transition into the new Student Center.  Moving occurs for offices from the University Union, Student Life Administration, and the Women's Center.

December 2011 - The Slippery Rock University Council of Trustees adopted a resolution naming the building the Robert M. Smith Student Center in recognition of President Smith's leadership in the project and his work to create a premier, residential environment at the university.

October 1, 2010 - A Ground Breaking ceremony for the new Student Center was held at the construction site adjacent to Boozel Hall.  President Smith, members of the Council of Trustees, students, architects, contractors, and various University officials attended to mark the start of construction.

July 2010 - Contracts are signed and contractors are moving onto the site to begin construction.

January 2010 - Protests to the original bidding process resulted in the project being re-bid.

November 2009 - Bids were solicited for the construction of the new student union. 

Summer 2009 - Weekly architect meetings with building users to refine all spaces.

March 2008 - A new referendum vote on the student center project was held.  Voting options included building a new student center, renovating the current union, or maintaining the current union as is.  Financial estimates were included that outlined the likely impact on student fees for each selection.  With 2242 students voting in an electronic survey, 93% selected the option to build a new student center.

September 2007 - Sasaki and DRS Architects held several focus group sessions with students and staff involved in the student center project in order to validate planning assumptions in the previously completed feasibility study.

January 2007 - Following a review of proposals and campus presentations, the architectural firms of Sasaki and DRS were selected to complete the student center project.

October 2006 - A request for proposals was authorized in order to select an architectural firm for the design and construction of a new student center.

June 2006 - The feasibility study was completed by WTW Architects and submitted to the University.

December 2005 - A referendum was held for students to vote whether they preferred to build a new student union or renovate the current University Union.  With 747 students voting, 58% supported building a new student center.

November 2005 - Student leaders of the Union Task Force developed a presentation on the student center project and made several presentations to student organizations and campus forums in advance of a student referendum on funding the student center project.

October 2005 - WTW Architects held a campus forum day to solicit information from students, faculty, and staff on the renovation or construction of a student center.  Based on input from constituents, a location near Boozel Dining Hall was identified as a potential site for a new union.

September 2005 - A survey was distributed to all students requesting opinions and preferences about a renovated or new student center.  Over 1500 students replied to the electronic survey providing valuable information to guide the feasibility study.

August 2005 - Dr. Robert Watson, Vice President for Student Life, convened the Union Task Force, a committee comprised mostly of student leaders along with representatives of administrative offices that would be funding the student center project.

March 2005 - After a solicitation of proposals and presentations to a university committee, the architectural firm of WTW Architects was selected to complete the feasibility study for renovation or construction of a student center.

December 2004 - Jude Butch, President of Slippery Rock Student Government Association, notified Dr. Robert Watson, Vice President for Student Life, and President Robert Smith that the Student Government Association had unanimously approved a resolution requesting the expenditure of $40,000 from union fee money to conduct a feasibility study on renovation or construction of a student center.  The Council of Trustees subsequently approved the expenditure for the feasibility study.

June 2004 - Dr. Robert Watson, Vice President for Student Life, in a memo to President Robert M. Smith urged that the University begin to explore options for renovation or construction of a new student center in order to comply with the the State System requirement for all student unions to operate as auxiliary services.

April 2003 - President Robert M. Smith met with several campus administrators to discuss the possibilities of new facilities including a new student center. 


Sun 9a- 12a
Mon 7:30a- 12a
Tue 7:30a - 12a
Wed 7:30a - 12a
Thu 7:30a - 12a
Fri 7:30a - 10p
Sat 10a - 10p