|The BHSU David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union received the 2011 Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Facility Design Award of Excellence during the annual ACUI conference this month in Chicago. Accepting the award are (left to right) Josh Vel, project manager at MHTN Architects; Lois Flagstad, vice president for Student Life at BHSU; Jane Klug, director of Student Services at BHSU; Sarah Miller, project manager at MHTN Architects; and Kyle Taft, MHTN Architects Principal. BHSU and MHTN Architects are members of the ACUI, a nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries. The ACUI Facility Design Award of Excellence recognizes excellence in design of college unions as well as other student-centered campus buildings.
The Black Hills State University David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union recently received a national design award. The 2011 Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Facility Design Award of Excellence was presented to BHSU and MHTN Architects, Inc. during the annual ACUI conference this month in Chicago.
Two years ago, following the extensive addition and renovation, the BHSU Student Union was designed to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. The Student Union is designed to “bring the outside in” highlighting its exceptional location in the Black Hills. The new dining area, named the Hive in honor of the Union’s former dining area, has changed dramatically. New dining options include a presentation grill station (Mongolian-style grill), brick oven pizzas, home-style cooking, a deli, and an extensive salad bar. The new space also includes several conference rooms, a student engagement and leadership area, Club Buzz - a recreational gathering space for students, a remodeled University Bookstore, the campus radio station, and study spaces.
Each year, there are a large number of submissions to the ACUI and recognition is given to the architectural firm that submits the entry and the member institution. ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries.
Six architectural firms and universities received awards including: MHTN Architects, Inc. and Black Hills State University; AC Martin and the University of Southern California; Cannon Design and the University of California–Dominguez Hills; Cannon Design and the University of California–San Diego; Sasaki Associates, Inc. and the University of Arizona; and WTW Architects and Texas A&M University.
The ACUI Facility Design Award of Excellence recognizes excellence in design of college unions as well as other student-centered campus buildings. Entries were judged not only on the basis of the facilities’ appearance, but also on the process used to arrive at the design and how the new or renovated facility affected the campus. MHTN Architects, based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, designed the building addition/renovation for BHSU and worked closely with local architecture firm Williams and Associates. MHTN Architects’ design ensured the needs of the campus community were met and that the new building would be LEED certified.
According to Kyle Taft, MHTN Architects principal, the highlight of the project was how well received the facility was by the campus community and the community at large. “As the ‘happening’ place on campus, students are constantly using the spaces before and after class as well as to organize for student government, student activities, and student organizations,” said Taft.
Jane Klug, director of Student Services at BHSU, said the campus and community response has been outstanding. “Our campus has truly embraced the new dining experience; faculty, staff, and students gather together to share fantastic meals and lively conversations. We even have community members dining with us on a regular basis. Our facility is truly a showcase for Black Hills State University,” said Klug.
Klug noted that the students are extremely proud of their efforts and it was due to their leadership that the project became such a success. “It was the students’ voice that provided our vision and their involvement that became our compass for this project. This award honors all of those students and their dreams for the future of BHSU,” she said.
The Student Union was originally built in 1963; it was expanded in 1968 and 1997. In 1998, the building was dedicated and renamed the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union in honor of Miller, who was a history professor at BHSU for 29 years. The most recent remodel in 2009 expanded the student engagement space and earned the ACUI design award.
The building is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Hive is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the weekdays and for brunch and dinner on the weekends. Children five and under eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. To learn more about dining at the Hive visit www.BHSU.edu/Dining. For more information about the Student Union contact the Student Union Information Center at 642-6062 or visit www.BHSU.edu.