MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro broke ground Friday on a new Student Union.
The new, multi-story brick and white building will be located on the east side of campus, near the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.
MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee called the facility "badly needed."
"Our old facility accommodated our campus when we had 7,000 students and now we're over 25,000 [students]," he said.
The nearly 200,000 square foot building, estimated to cost $77 million, is being paid for by student fees.
When complete, it will house a bookstore, copy center, game room, food court, video theater, and computer center in addition to a ballroom, conference and meeting rooms, student lounges and offices.
School officials said the Student Union will not replace Keathley University Center, which will continue to house Student Affairs-related offices, the post office and others.
MTSU officials hope to have the new center completed in early 2012.