UAH Celebrates Grand Opening of Charger Union

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Wednesday was a big day for UAH as the faculty, students, and local dignitaries celebrated the grand opening of a brand new student center.

The new Charger Union center connects students and sends a new message about the university's mission.

When a person enters the building and looks around, he or she will see all things that say UAH and students who are already settled in.

"We have created a space where students can come together, enjoy themselves, relax, learn, grow, be whoever they want to be," said Nandish Dayal, President of the UAH Student Government Association.

He told the crowd he had goosebumps about this grand opening.

"I feel like every student here has a stake in this building and ownership," said Dayal.

The 90,000-square-foot building was designed for the students, by the students, all the way down to the restaurants inside.

"Yeah, Dunkin Donuts, World of Wings, that's what the students wanted, that's what they got," said UAH President Robert Altenkirch.  He commented that he's particularly proud of the $25 million building's branding.  It's the first one on campus to have it.

"As you look around you see university logos, you see blue, you see video screens where various messages about the university," said Dr. Altenkirch.  "So it kind of gives you a feel for what the institution is about."

After a warm celebration inside, the crowd headed out into the cold to make the grand opening official with their blue scissors.

The old student center will be transformed into a conference and training center.