Byline: Ryan Muir, Opinions Writer, [email protected]
In 2010 Utah Valley University purchased 100 acres of land where Geneva Steel once stood. The $20 million sale took a while to complete but has since been finalized. Part of the land was donated to the university, and the rest was either paid for by a donor or the school.
This land is reportedly going to be used for intramural fields and 900 parking stalls with the left-over land used for future buildings. Currently there is an option for an additional 125 acres which may be purchased at some future date.
Utah Valley University rests on roughly 185 acres at present and is quickly running out of space to expand. The construction of buildings on new campus land provides an interesting look into the growth of the university.
A simple drive around the campus will show the university has been and is continuing to expand. With expansion of buildings taking up former parking spaces, the need for more land is obvious. The school should vigorously pursue the purchase of the additional acreage.
The construction of new buildings is said to be a secondary objective of this new expansion. I feel this would be for the best. Don’t get me wrong, the school is in need of more classrooms and faculty facilities, but the new land may not be the place for these buildings. Buildings used for academics would be better placed closer to the main campus.
The construction of new buildings is obviously needed, but the proximity to the primary campus is questionable. This newly acquired area of campus sits almost two and a half miles away from the main section of campus.
While the bus and other transportation options are going to be available to the students, this may prove to be impractical for class changes. Many students prefer to schedule their classes as close together as possible, and a distance of over two miles might make even the university’s best track star late for class.
While the new academic buildings going up around campus are needed, the few wide-open green spaces the school used to have are quickly disappearing. Academics are the principal function of a good university, but patrons have always appreciated these green spaces. Perhaps one reason for the purchase of new land is to give students room to stretch.
UVU has excellent facilities for learning and progressing, but there is not a lot of room to run around. As previously explained, some of the newly purchased grounds are to be used as fields for the university’s intramural sports teams. The construction of fields in particular will provide a wonderful opportunity for students to form a unique connection to their university and to each other.
With such a massive purchase of land and the talk of placing intramural fields, sharp perspective is placed on what the university does not have, namely a football stadium and football team.
While there is nothing to suggest a stadium will be built, there is no doubt a stadium would bring exciting new prospects to the state, Utah Valley and the school.
A football team, much like intramural sports, would without a doubt unite the student body. Besides, football games are just good fun for all who attend. The school also stands to profit from years of revenue from games and other events held at such a stadium.
The university is not the only entity that could profit from a stadium; surrounding businesses would also receive substantial benefits from events. UVU would be doing the local community an enormous service. Those who attend events at a stadium would clearly take advantage of restaurants and other nearby services.
The school will undoubtedly come up with a use for all of the land. I for one would like to see a great school start an amazing football program. The new expansion provides an excellent opportunity to do just that. Regardless, I think most residents and more particularly those with ties to Utah Valley University will eagerly watch the development of this land.