Student Union ahead of schedule, will include Starbucks

Sean Blackwell, Staff Writer

The much-anticipated opening of the Student Union is still on track for January 2018, just shy of six years after UIS students approved a referendum on April 18, 2012 to finance its construction with a student fee increase, which is due to take effect when the facility opens its doors to the UIS community.

The construction of the edifice, which will be 50,000 square feet, is approximately 40 percent complete and “slightly ahead of schedule,” according to Charles Coderko, director of construction at UIS, who also verified that the Student Union will contain a Starbucks.

“Right now we’re working with the construction contractors to make the appropriate adjustments to the building to ensure we can incorporate a Starbucks into it. … It’s a full-up Starbucks franchise that will come in and run and operate just like a Starbucks downtown would,” said Coderko.

“Students will be able to use their i-card, cash, or credit card for Starbucks and all Food Service operations in the new Student Union,” according to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Van Vieregge.

“The main focus of the work [right now] is on getting the building enclosed by the end of the month,” said Coderko.

In addition to Starbucks, the Student Union will include the Student Leadership Center, the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, a vegetated roof, restaurants, a convenience store, a ballroom, and plenty of lounging space, amongst other amenities, according to the Student Union webpage.

Those interested can learn even more about the Student Union and view a live webcam of its construction at http://www.uis.edu/studentunion/