UVU Applauds Legislative Approval for New Science Building
March 11, 2010
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Brad Plothow (801) 863-7149
Utah Valley University officials today praised the Utah State Legislature’s decision to fund a new science building for the space-strapped UVU campus. The $45 million science facility is one of a half-dozen buildings funded through a diversion of $113 million for scheduled roadwork and an $89 million bond. The action was approved by the House and Senate and awaits the signature of Gov. Gary Herbert.
“Like the rest of the UVU community, I am so pleased that our state representatives showed their support for higher education by voting to fund this important building,” said Sam Rushforth, dean of UVU’s College of Science & Health. “This is an investment in Utah’s future that will also pay immediate dividends. The construction of this building will help UVU provide an excellent education to tomorrow’s science and health professionals, and it will spur the region’s economic recovery in the short term as a construction-ready project.”
The science building was one of the state’s top building projects heading into the 2010 session due to UVU’s severe space constraints. Record enrollment growth has made UVU the second-largest public university in Utah with nearly 29,000 students, but the University serves that burgeoning student body with the fewest square feet per student (121.5) among all institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education. Based on growth projections, UVU will need an additional 313,391 square feet by 2015 just to maintain that mark.
“This building has been my top priority since I took office in June of last year,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland said. “The entire UVU community rallied around this great need. Our phenomenal students held fundraisers and petitioned lawmakers. Our faculty, staff and community supporters worked tirelessly. Multiple donors contributed to this undertaking, including a recent pledge by the Marc and Debbie Bingham family to match any funds raised this year up to $1 million. I offer my sincerest thanks to everyone who made this possible.”
Pending the governor’s signature, the UVU science building will provide 160,000 square feet, including 27 labs, 12 state-of-the-art classrooms and a 400-seat auditorium. UVU’s current science building was constructed when the entire institution had only 8,000 students; today, there are more than 20,000 students taking courses in the building every semester.