Rendering of new home for the Black Student Union at Florida State University Gilchrist Ross Crowe Architects

Rendering of new home for the Black Student Union at Florida State University.

New home for Black Student Union under construction at Florida State University

5,600-square-foot, two-story building is expected to open later this year.

Florida State University has broken ground in Tallahassee on a new facility for the Black Student Union.

The school says the 5,600-square-foot, two-story building will house exhibit space, a student lounge, a large multipurpose room for classes and events, kitchen, conference room and staff offices. It is expected to be completed later in 2017.

“We’re not just breaking ground on a new facility today,” Florida State President John Thrasher says. “We’re building the future of a student government organization that has a proud history of involvement and activism on campus."

The Black Student Union at Florida State was established in 1968 and has been housed on Woodward Avenue since its creation, along with the African-American Studies program for the interdisciplinary study of the history, culture and socio-economic well-being of African-Americans.

“It’s been a longtime coming for this house,” says Rashard Johnson, president of the Black Student Union. “This is a pivotal moment in our history. It doesn’t stop here. Once this house is built, it can look good on the outside, but we need to continue to have the same values as we had across the street."

The Florida Legislature allocated $1.5 million last year to help pay for the construction of the Black Student Union.

The architect is Gilchrist Ross Crowe Architects, and the builders are Mad Dog Construction and One Day Came Construction.

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