Burge Union, opened in 1979 and named for Frank Burge, longtime director of the Memorial Unions, will close in March 2016 and be razed and rebuilt using mostly funds from student fees. Plans are being finalized, but the new building should be about 33,500 square feet and have 1.5 stories and a basement. It is one of several projects planned for the west side of the Central District; others are a new residence hall, students apartments, utility plant, parking garage, and an integrated science building.
As the campus expanded to the south and west, 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. Architects Raymond and Phillip Coolidge of Topeka designed the 48,450-square-foot brick and reinforced concrete building, which opened Aug. 21, 1979, and was dedicated April 27, 1980. On his retirement, the satellite union was named in honor of Frank Burge, director of the unions 1952-83.