By: Marco Ovies, Staff Writer
The finish line is nearly in sight for SFU’s long-in-gestation Student Union Building (SUB), though currently the opening is set for an unspecified date in the spring semester. On October 11 the SFSS opened up the SUB for students to take a sneak peek at what will be coming next year, and The Peak had the opportunity to walk through the building.
When I heard that I was able to get a glimpse into the SUB progress, I jumped out of my seat from excitement. The SUB has felt like a mythical creature that I had heard whispers of, but being able to finally see it in person renewed my hope that this building would actually be finished.
Walking in, I was surprised at how spacious and open everything was. Similar to the layout of the latest Surrey Sustainable Energy and Engineering Building (SE3P), the Social Stairs (a space designed around the staircase for students to hangout) looked like an extremely welcoming place. Even with it being unfinished, I could picture my friends and I sitting there enjoying a cup of coffee from the coffee shop also opening up in the SUB. At the bottom of these stairs there was a large fireplace that was already lit. It took a lot of willpower to keep myself from warming myself by the fire for the entire tour.
To add to my building excitement were the tour guides stationed around the SUB. Each one seemed to be more excited about the building than myself. I was lucky enough to get my own tour from Jasdeep Gill, the SFSS’ VP of External Relations. When I asked what she was most excited for about the SUB she said “Honestly, I would say the nap room [ . . . ] I feel like the pods are going to be really cool [ . . . ] I remember when the board was taking a look at furniture and things like that, that was one thing we were really excited about.” The napping room is sure to be a favourite for Peak staff too, rather than sleeping under their desks when on deadline.
Alongside the nap room, she said the SUB will have a gaming lounge for playing video games, a recreational area with ping pong tables, a coffee shop, a community kitchen, 20 microwaves, rehearsal rooms for dance practices, and a patio.
On her favourite parts of the new building, Gill said “I love the open patios. Even though you’re in a building, you bring in parts of nature [because] there’s little gardens . . . In the summer it’s going to become a cool hangout area and it’s so close to The Study, which is nice because it becomes a social hub on campus where students can grab food and hang out.”
This building was built entirely for student enjoyment and there will be no classes held in it. It is simply a space designed for groups to meet and for people to relax after a long day of studying. The decision to build the SUB was in response to students’ increasing desire for improvements to student life. The project will provide students with 10,000 square feet of new space, and has a price tag of $65 million according to Build SFU’s website.
While the SUB completion date has been pushed back by nearly two whole years, an end finally seems to be in sight. Gill added: “We are super excited that we are doing these tours, that excitement is building, and we are able to really show something that people can visualize themselves living in.”
For those who missed the sneak peeks, a “Fly Through the SUB” video is available online.