Some campus construction projects are finishing up, some about to begin and others are being discussed in this year’s session of the Utah State Legislature.
Construction of the new Science Building will reach “substantial completion” on March 20, according to Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning Jim Michaelis, after which furniture and accessories will be moved in. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, scheduled for April 20, will open the building to the public, allowing classes to begin in the new building this summer. After all is said and done, the price tag on this state-funded, 170,000-square-foot, laboratory-heavy science hub sits at $40 million, Michaelis said.
Pedestrian access between UVU and Walmart will soon be a lot easier, but the luxury comes with a price that Utah residents are all too familiar with: more construction.
The traffic shift on University Parkway traffic at the Sandhill Road will only be in place for a few more months, as UDOT crews push hard to have the pedestrian underpass completed by their anticipated completion date, May 1. Once they are done, they plan on keeping the momentum going to have the entire intersection of University Parkway and Sandhill Road completely wrapped up by June 1.
Unfortunately, locals and campus population won’t get a reprieve, because as soon as the UDOT pedestrian underpass is complete in May, UVU will begin construction on a second underground walkway. The subterranean walkway will allow pedestrian access from the bus stop on College drive next to the roundabout, underneath College Drive, 1200 South and University Parkway, to the parking lot next to McDonalds.
The Student Life and Wellness building, scheduled to be constructed east of the Liberal Arts building, is still in the “construction document design” stage, Michaelis said, meaning that contractor bids in March could bring groundbreaking as early as the end of May.
President Matthew Holland made a presentation to the Utah State Legislature Friday, Jan. 27, in hopes of spurring action that would grant UVU the funding required for a new classroom building. When asked what kind of need actually exists for such a building, Michaelis simply said “significant.” Studies from 2010, Michaelis said, showed that UVU has the lowest square-foot-per-student ratio in the state.
“We’ve probably turned away 1700 students this year who just could not get classes,” Michaelis said. “We don’t have the space to put the classes in, and it’s only going to get worse.”
If the legislature decides to foot the $50 million bill, construction could start as early as next May.
By Jeff Jacobsen
Online Content Manager