New Burge Union opens in Central District

Posted on Apr 30, 2018 in Campus News and News

New Burge Union opens in Central District at KU

Another step in the evolution of the Central District at the University of Kansas is now complete. On the site of the old Burge Union, which opened in 1979, sits a brand-new building: a new Burge that can host events of any size and adds accommodations that make KU a more welcoming, inclusive campus.

“The big goal was to have a flexible conference space,” said JJ O’Toole-Curran, senior associate director at KU Memorial Union. “Student Senate wanted to have offices for student services, and the union wanted a flexible conference space with a large kitchen downstairs to serve as the catering hub for this side of campus.”

Departments such as the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, Legal Services for Students and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center all received offices in the new building.

The focus on inclusivity continued with the additions of a lactation room and a Wudu/Ablution room. Reflection rooms for meditation or prayer by students of all faiths are also available.

“These facilities were important to Student Senate to make our campus more accessible for our students,” said Sharon Leatherman, assistant director of building and event services. “Very few unions have everything we have here.”

New Burge Union opens in Central District at KU | The Forum, with a Skyfold wall down.

The Forum, with a Skyfold wall down.

The Burge Union’s central room is the Forum, the largest single-function room in Lawrence with over 10,800 square feet. For comparison, the Kansas Union ballroom is 7,000 square feet.

The room can be divided into four separate rooms with Skyfold soundproof walls that unfold from the ceiling. Student groups can reserve facilities for free, with reduced rates available for staff and faculty.

Photos:

New Burge Union opens in Central District at KU | A Roasterie Coffee and Hawk Shop convenience store sells grab-and-go food for students.

A Roasterie Coffee and Hawk Shop convenience store sells grab-and-go food for students.

New Burge Union opens in Central District at KU | A seating area in the main entrance offers a view of Allen Fieldhouse.

A seating area in the main entrance offers a view of Allen Fieldhouse.

New Burge Union opens in Central District at KU | A

A “Quiet Zone,” where students can study in total silence.

New Burge Union opens in Central District at KU | Study pods, recently added in the Kansas Union as well, line the windows in a hallway.

Study pods, recently added in the Kansas Union as well, line the windows in a hallway.

-Ryan Camenzind

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the old Burge, read our coverage from the decommissioning ceremony and a social recap of the day the demolition began.

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