Utah Valley University students will say goodbye to the Bunnell House and the north visitor parking lot. In their place the new Student Life and Wellness Building, as well as a four-story parking structure, will be built.
Current Student Body President Chad Workman, architects and contractors are slated to deliver remarks at the ceremony regarding the new additions to the UVU campus. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
Both the north end of the Sorensen Student Center and the east hallway of the PE Building will connect to the second floor of the new 170,000 square foot building. The 450-space parking garage, expected to be complete in summer 2013, will be constructed west of the LDS Institute Building and north of The Grand Ballroom.
“This is good for UVU because [the Student Life and Wellness Building] provides that place for students to congregate, meet, socialize, have fun, relax, and take care of the mind, body, and spirit,” said Dr. Bob Rasmussen, Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President of Student Life.
Scheduled for completion in December 2013, the open atrium Student Life and Wellness Building will include a 45-foot rock climbing wall, a bowling alley, an indoor track, three full-size basketball courts and a multi-activity court with goals built into the walls.
Other features include two dance rooms for the UVU cheer and dance teams; state-of-the-art cardio machines and machine weights; two exercise rooms for yoga, aerobics and spinning; and a cardio cinema room. A new 50-seat council meeting room will also be in the new building.
The first and second floors will house Student Life offices, student government, clubs and organizations, a new ice cream or yogurt vendor, and gaming and social areas. The UVU Review office will move to the second floor of the Student Life and Wellness Building, as will as Intramurals, the Ombudsman office and the Outdoor Adventure Center.
“As we evolve into this comprehensive university, one of the things lacking is a sense of community, that sense of connection, that holistic university experience,” Dr. Rasmussen said. “It impacts the success of students while they’re enrolled if they have a place where they can relieve stress, meditate and clear your head. All of those things contribute to you doing better in the classroom.”
The UVU Wellness Programs, currently located within Student Health Services, will move to the third floor of the building. A new campus Reflection Center, which will also be located on the third floor, will be open for prayer, meditation, and discussion for all.
“We have had the idea for a Reflection Center for about five or six years. President Holland has been looking for a space,” Dr. Rasmussen said. “[The Reflection Center] will be totally private and sound proof. It will be a really cool place for anyone, regardless of religion or no religion, to have a place to go.”
Enrolled students will be able to use the new workout and wellness facilities free of charge. Faculty, staff, alumni and family will be charged according to a fee schedule that is being created.
Utilizing the same architect as the Science Building, which opened in April, the concept of the Student Life and Wellness Building has been in development for seven years.
“As we worked with Student Government, everything came together last year to do the design,” said Frank Young, senior director of space management at UVU. “This year I think the money was available to finally do the building.”
Currently, UVU students are in the fourth year of a student government approved five-year student fee increase to fund the new wellness building and parking structure. For the 2012-2013 academic year, student fees were approved with a $12 increase.
Anyone is invited to attend the groundbreaking event Monday. The ceremony will celebrate the continuous growth of UVU, and those who have been instrumental in the approval of the building will be thanked including former student councils, Utah state legislators and UVU administration.
By Mallory Black
Assistant News Editor