The answer to solving UVSC’s identity crisis has been waiting for 115 years. Or rather, standing for 115 years.
An idea has surfaced which would convert the Bunnell Pioneer House into a café, where art, poetry and music blend to create an atmosphere of enjoyment for students and faculty.
Vegor Pedersen, a UVSC student, described how the idea for the project came about, “I’ve walked past the Bunnell maybe 5,000 times during my tenure at UVSC, always thinking it was a cool building going to waste. It wasn’t until the beginning of this semester that I started imagining it as a coffee shop.
"For three nights straight I fell asleep dreaming of this hip little cafe where students and faculty could mingle—a place that really promoted a sense of community and culture on campus."
"Coffee was never central to the idea (personally I can’t stand coffee), but I know how important a good ‘cup of joe’ is to some people. "
"After a week of thinking, I thought I’d better mention it to someone besides my wife. So I was walking past the Bunnellwith my buddy Alex (Caldiero) after class and I said, ‘You know what would be perfect in this little house?’ and he immediately said ‘A coffee shop!’"
"Turns out he’d been thinking the same thing for the past five years. So we started making plans, and it seemed like everyone we told thought it was such a natural fit for the campus.”
Pedersen, along with UVSC faculty and staff, has toured the facility with Associate VP of Facilities Jim Michaelis and have found the house to be an ideal location and venue for the cafe.
“Right now it is filled with chairs and other assorted odds and ends. And it looks like some birds have had a good
ol’ time in the attic. But it just seems to ooze potential,” as a post reads from the Bunnell Café blog.
The renovation may prove costly.
Back in the summer, Michaelis told The College Times’s Justin Ritter that it would cost roughly $250,000 to make the Bunnell House seismically sound. The money issue can be solved
if students and donors come together to make a monetary impact.
According to the blog promoting the Bunnell Café project, Helen Bun-nell Weeks (who grew up in the Bunnell House) is excited about the idea of the Bunnell House being an open and inviting place on campus for students.
The Bunnell Pioneer House is situated conveniently in what will be the walking area on the heart of campus to the new Digital Learning Center. The Bunnell Café would supplement all the new perks the Digital Learning Center will provide. An escape from the toils of the classroom, a dive into community culture and fostering an appreciation of the arts are a few of the benefits the Bunnell Café will provide.
Back in 1892, the “mysterious” Bunnell House was built, and stayed in the Bunnell family until 1939. Several owners and years passed until 1966, when Wilson Sorenson, president of
Utah Technical College, acquired it for the present-day UVSC campus.
The Bunnell Pioneer House has a long, extensive history.
Now, with the idea of the Bunnell Café, it may have a
future as well.