New student center opens at UNT Dallas

A Dallas college campus has a big new addition to make it look and feel more like the major university it someday might be.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on a new $63 million student center at the University of North Texas Dallas.

UNT Dallas is now the fastest growing four-year university in the state. President Bob Mong said it needed the extra space for its growing student body.

The 136,000-square-foot facility includes a large library and learning center that the student body asked for and helped plan.

“They said, ‘We want a lot of space to study collectively and individually.’ So it’s here. It’s four stories of library. We also have a lot of room for advising and for financial aid questions and just advice in general,” he said.

The student center also has a Starbucks, lounge areas, fireplace on the second floor and a terrace that overlooks Downtown Dallas.

“We have a great view of Downtown Dallas. It’s 12 miles away. It’s just a spectacular view. And now for the first time, the campus has a campus hall where we can actually have large gatherings with 4 or 500 people at a time,” Mong said.

While larger universities may already have similar student centers or other amenities for students, UNT Dallas’ new facility allows it to compete.

“Great thing about North Texas right now is there are plenty of students to go around. Our core competency really is in urban Dallas. We recruit most of our students in urban Dallas, the inner ring suburbs and the Dallas County Community College. And we serve. Our service areas, our institutes serve urban Dallas. So we are really the only university that’s really focused on urban Dallas, students in urban Dallas. A lot of other universities have a piece of that but that’s why we exist,” the president said.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the student center will be Tuesday at 4 p.m.