For many it’s been a long wait, but it appears work on the Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Centre is finally moving forward.

The University of Saskatchewan held the official sod turning for the centre on Friday morning, which will provide a number of services once completed – including a gathering place for Indigenous students.

University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union President Max FineDay says the new centre has been a long time coming but he believes the wait will have been worth it when construction is completed sometime in early 2015.

“Money was a huge issue, they couldn’t fundraise, or fundraising wasn’t a priority for a long time,” he says. “I think we’ve been waiting about 20 years for this new students’ centre to be built and a lot of it was fundraising and it wasn’t considered a top priority for the university.”

FineDay adds the new centre is for all students but, in particular, it will be a meeting place for Aboriginal students where they can feel comfortable as they pursue their studies.

Construction on the new centre, designed by world-renowned architect Douglas Cardinal, will begin on Monday.

The building is expected to cost about $17 million to construct.

It is roughly 2,000 square metres and will be located between the Arts tower and Murray library.

More than 1,700 students at the U of S self declare themselves as Aboriginal.