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TCU Magazine "Alma Matters"

Inside the new union

The union will not officially open until the first week of September, but The TCU Magazine got a sneak peek inside. From fancy dining to stunning architecture to space galore, the new 145,000-square-foot Brown-Lupton University Union does not disappoint.

Final construction continues on the Brown-Lupton University Union as students begin arriving on campus the weekend of August 16. Landscaping and pavestones will be laid in the next two weeks. Official grand opening will be September 2. On the far left, a small fountain will sit outside the Union Auditorium to complement Frog Fountain on the other end of the Campus Commons.

An east view from the Union shows the Campus Commons and, in the distance, the back of Reed Hall. The old Brown-Lupton Student Center was razed in mid-July.

The Union's distinctive two-story arch was designed to be the building's signature element. The university plans to have incoming freshmen walk to the arch during Freshmen Assembly and march from the arch to commencement excercises.

First floor north lobby with The Corner Store to the left. The Corner Store opened August 18. The hallway to the right leads to 1873 Cafe, a sportsbar-type dining hall, which will serve students and athletics patrons alike. It too is open.

Frog Prints Copy Center is on the first floor off the lobby.

Also off the first floor north lobby will be the TCU Spirit Shop, a much smaller version of the TCU Barnes & Noble Bookstore. It will open September 2.

1873 Cafe is a sportsbar-type dining option. Athletics patrons will likely crowd the place before kickoff or tipoff.

1873 Cafe will also serve students seven days a week.

On the first floor south wing is the TCU Heritage Center, which displays TCU historical items and illustrates the university's history.

Panels guide campus guests through six eras of TCU's history - from a small 1800s prairie college in Thorp Spring to a 21st century global institution.

The university's mission statement and vision are prominently displayed.

Student Organizations will have a large space on the south wing of the first floor beyond the Heritage Center. This space is for student projects that might get a little messy, such as painting, and the floor, which is ground concrete can be cleaned easily.

Team rooms open off the main space.

Student government officers will have these offices.

A kitchen with oversized sinks can handle clean-up after messy projects.

More work stations for student groups.

The whole union is equipped with flat-screen televisions and retractable chairs for easy storage and moving from room to room.

Architects Cannon Design and Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford designed the stairwells to be works of art. The curved lines mimick the arches seen all over the building.

The Level 2 north wing lobby includes the entrance to Market Square, the main dining facility.

Market Square seating offers stunning views.

The first meal was served Sunday night, August 17, for students who arrived early to campus for band, RA duty, the Skiff, athletics and others.

Curved lines continue in Market Square.

Market Square offers seating for 650, including outside patio and West Dining areas.

Inside Market Square, students will choose from multiple food vendors - including Oasis, Shuffles, El Trattoria, Cookhouse and Expeditions.

An open-air patio will be equipped with tables to accommodate more seating.

West Dining offers still more seating in a quieter setting. Booths will have spectacular views from large windows.

The Union Auditorium will open September 2. In front, a smaller fountain will mimick Frog Fountain. The auditorium features retractable seating and can hold as many as 350 people.

TCU asked the architect to design the Union to preserve views of Amon G. Carter Stadium and Frog Fountain. The solution was the two-story arch with a second-story skybridge.

The union has nine separate conference rooms or conference areas on its second and third floors for groups ranging from 12 to 40. The ballroom can be divided into five sections, growing the number of conference spaces to 14.

On the second floor's south wing, Student Affairs has set up shop.

TCU used photography from the university's history and traditions. This image was shot by the late Linda Kaye.

The welcome area in Student Affairs.

Office spaces have great views of Stadium Drive.

Workers installed the clock late last week. The five-story tower glows purple at night.

Just a reminder, as if you didn't know: TCU is ahead of the curve.

For those who can't manage the stairs, the Union does have a bay of three elevators.

Ceiling detail work was design to reflect the style and class of TCU. The color scheme selected to match TCU's signature buff brick.

On the third level, the conference center with high-end graphic display screens will direct groups who meet in the Union.

The corridor to the third-floor ballroom.

Furniture was selected with a modern bent.

The is plenty of space outside the ballroom for pre-function events.

The ballroom is larger than the one in the old Student Center, but it does not have a permanent stage. It does have a portable stage and two large projection screens. The room can hold 450 to 700 for dining and up to 850 with row chairs. The room can be divided into five sections with panels.

Programmable LED lights can glow any color of the rainbow - or all the colors of a rainbow. Any combination of RGB colors is possible, but expect to see purple most of the time.

More conference rooms open off the ballroom corridor.

A large conference room can be subdivided with panels. The Union was designed to maximize natural light.

The Student Government Association's chambers will be on the Union's third level. It has spaces for 69.

The Chancellor's Dining Room is next to the Student Government Chambers. It features its own private balcony and patio.

The main third level balcony overlooks the Campus Commons and has been dubbed by construction workers as the "Pope Terrace."

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