The new science building was approved March 11 through Senate Bill 282 by Utah’s House and Senate and awaits the signature of Gov. Gary Herbert.
The new science facility will cost a total of $45 million and will provide 160,000 square feet, including 27 labs, 12 state-of-the-art classrooms and a 400-seat auditorium.
Since spring 2009 UVU has expanded its student body by just over 3,000; creating a current total of 26,322 students. The Pope Science Building was built when there were only 8,000 students attending UVU. With the numbers of new students continuing to climb the space provided by the university needs to expand as well.
“This building has been my top priority since I took office in a June of last year,” said President Holland in press release. “I cannot imagine a gift having more impact anywhere in Utah higher education today.”
In an interview last month, President Holland noted that $1 million had been raised for the new building, and the minimum target was between $2 and $3 million. Holland also noted his optimism about the remainder of the funds arriving within the next month. The goal, although seemingly impossible, was met through fundraising by the UVUSA College of Science and Health academic committee, and donations and fundraising by groups including the Student Alumni board, the Marc and Debbie Bingham Family and many other private donors as well as state funding, which will now be provided with their approval of the action to build.
The UVUSA College of Science and Health academic committee also put in a lot of work to help show the legislators how much they felt the university needed this building. The committee delivered a petition signed by over 3,000 concerned students to key legislators on March 4, before the decision was made.
“We [the students] were concerned … the legislators liked that,” said Kristopher Lange, the UVUSA Senator of the College of Science and Health and leader of the committee, “We [the committee] just want to let students know it was because of them.”
Lange relayed that their passion for the cause was both selfless and hopeful. “None of us will ever get to use this building. I’ll never get to use it; It’s for the future.”