By Marques Mingo
Assistant News Director
The LBJ Student Center will be expanding soon after a referendum voted on by students passed on Friday.
The LBJ Student Center was built in 1996 and with the growth in student body, the center noticed it could not keep up with the space they currently have. That’s why the Texas State Student Government began discussing a student referendum that would increase the student fee from $64 to $100 that would allow an expansion.
Upon vote, the referendum passed through the senate and a campaign by the LBJ Student Center began to get students to vote in favor of the referendum.
“The building is getting a little worn. It’s almost 20 years old and it’s a very busy building so it sees some wear and tear. And then of course the growth of our student body, it’s almost double of what is was when this building was built,” said Jack Rahmann, LBJ Student Center Director. “I think one can pretty much assume that if the student body is twice as big as it was when it was built, the building might be a little small.”
The biggest need the student center has is bigger meeting spaces and a new ballroom. But this can only happen if the students want it because this is their building.
“We are an auxiliary. We don’t get tuition money or state money. We get from the students directly a student center fee. There’s a dedicated amount of money that students pay every semester to the LBJ Student Center. The rest of the money we get is from our building operations,” Rahmann said.
Students were able to vote throughout last week on whether or not they were in support of the referendum. The results are in and with 68 percent of the votes, the referendum passed. Students can now expect new spaces inside the center.
“We would build another ballroom. We would build four to five large meeting rooms. We would open up the paseo increasing the size of the paseo and food court to have a larger entrance with more lounge and dining seating. And a real central main lobby entrance area. And then were talking about a multicultural diversity lounge/area. That’s something I think the students would enjoy, appreciate and be excited about. And then there are opportunities to add small amenities, services, retail and those have yet to be determined,” Rahmann said.
The Student Center has already begun its renovation project where they update the fire alarm system and air and heating units. Now, the Student Center can begin working with the Facilities Management Office to plan out the expansion and begin the designs.
Students can expect to see this raise in their fees beginning fall 2017. Rahmann said that he isn’t too sure when the project will be completed but said he expects it to take about a year and half.