Students at N.C. Central University want a new student union.
"What we have now is too small. It's just not big enough for us anymore, not in the year 2010," said Dwayne Johnson, the NCCU Student Government Association president. "We really need a new union."
The current Alfonso Elder Student Union was built in 1968 and last renovated in 1992, it has one main floor, a lower level and a total of 39,575 square feet.
That's not nearly enough, Johnson says.
"We have about 130 student organizations now, and there are about seven to nine rooms available in the union," he explained. "There's not enough places for everybody to meet. And there's nowhere to hold events or to just hang out with friends. The place is just too small."
On the lower level, there's a bookstore, a post office, a game room, a small snack bar, a billiards room and even a small meditation room. An annex with bowling lanes, built more than 40 years ago, adds another 5,800 square feet.
NCCU already has more than $100 million in construction projects under way on campus, including construction of a massive parking deck, a new residence hall and a new nursing school building.
Johnson said he understood that the push for a new student union is unlikely to bear fruit in the immediate future.
"But I think we can begin to make progress," he said. "We need to get people talking about this. We need to set the groundwork. Whether this takes five years or 10 years, we need to get this started."