The original Burge Union, which opened in 1979, was razed in 2016. This new building, also named for longtime director of the KU unions Frank R. Burge, replaces it.
Costing $13 million and funded mostly by student fees, it was designed by Perkins + Will architectural firm. It has about 33,000 square feet in 1.5 stories and a basement and includes a conference area; the offices of KU Legal Services for Students, the Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center, and the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity; a Reflection Room; a lactation room; and a coffee shop and convenience store.
It is connected to a $20-million parking garage Central District Parking Garage to its south and the Integrated Science Building to its north.
It is part of the $350-million Central District redevelopment project that includes a new residence hall and apartments, a parking garage, and an integrated science building.
As the campus expanded to the south and west in the 1950s and 1960s, the need for a satellite union became apparent. Students approved plans for one in 1968, but only in 1976 were revenue bonds issued that, combined with student fees, paid for a $2.8 million building west of Allen Fieldhouse and south of Green Hall that opened in 1980.
On his retirement, the satellite union was named in honor of Burge, director of the KU unions 1952-83.