New building, program, sports coming to UAH

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Big changes are coming to the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

First is the ongoing construction of the $24 million student services building set to serve two purposes.

"One, is it will be a welcome center for our visitors," said Ray Garner, spokesman for the university. "We'll also be consolidating student services into one hallway, right now they're scattered across campus."

The building replaces now-demolished Madison Hall. Garner says it cost as much to build a new building than it did to refurbish the old one. The new building brings new energy for students.

"With more people living on campus and we're getting new buildings, I'm just excited about seeing what's going to happen in the future for this school," said sophomore Jon Bailey.

The new student services building is set to be complete by spring, and will then be added to the new series of signs on campus just installed this year.

"You had different signs with different looks, we cleaned all that up, and we have brand, it's modern looking sign so it brands the university," said Garner.

This year, the university has a larger student body, and a larger campus featuring two property purchases.

The university bought University Place School from the city. Huntsville City Schools will continue operating there for the 2015-2016 school year. UAH plans to renovate the property next summer to prepare it to house their preschool, the RISE preschool for special education, as well as an expanding university program.

"We've started a College of Education," said Garner. "We had a Department of Education but we're wanting to grow it."

The university also bought University Park, and it will be used for intramural sports and practice teams -- this year UAH also added men's and women's lacrosse.

"We’re becoming more like a traditional university, and this is just a transition getting to that point," said Garner.