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UVU Breaks Ground For New Science Building

6 August 2010 No Comment

August 6, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: Val Hale (801) 863-8335
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

On Friday Utah Valley University President Matthew S. Holland and the UVU campus community joined Gov. Gary Herbert, members of the Utah Legislature and a host of government, education, business, and community representatives for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new UVU Science Building.

“Science and technology, coupled with entrepreneurship, creates wealth,” Gov. Herbert said. “The ability to use that to grow the economy is not lost on this governor – our focus is on growing and expanding our economy. The rising tide raises all the boats on the pond. Clearly, with this campus and this building, we’re getting a great return on investment.”

Friday’s groundbreaking marks a culmination of efforts under the leadership of President Holland who, when he began his tenure in June 2009, made the project his top priority due to its potential to advance UVU’s academic mission and address the severe space constraints on campus. The University has recently experienced record enrollment growth while operating with the fewest square feet per student of any college or university in the Utah System of Higher Education.

Holland, along with his cabinet, especially Vice President of Administrative and Legislative Affairs Val Peterson, worked hand-in-hand with the governor and members of the Utah Legislature throughout the 2010 legislative session to help make the UVU science building project a reality. Students, donors, and the entire UVU campus community also demonstrated support for the facility, both in terms of fundraising efforts and in creating greater public awareness about the need for more classroom space.

In his opening remarks, Holland thanked the many people who contributed time and money to funding this project.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You all have made this possible. Without you, this facility would not have happened,” he said. “Science gives you the ability to understand and change the world around you. Thank you for looking to future generations.”

Richard Portwood, UVU student body president, mentioned junior and senior students who were involved in the fundraising effort, even though they will never get to use the building.

“But that didn’t stop us from trying,” he said, quoting one of those students.

When finished in the spring of 2012, the 160,000-square foot high-tech facility — designed by GSBS Architects and to be built by Big-D Construction — will give some students some breathing room with much-needed classroom and lab space, as well as a 400-seat auditorium, the largest on the Orem campus.

Holland pointed to the paint on the grass marking one corner of the new auditorium. “This will give us the ability to host large scale events and large scale teaching, something we’ve never been able to do before,” he said.

Steve Lund, UVU trustee chair, thanked all who had the courage to move this forward. He mentioned a recent trip to Malawi, Africa, where he saw wise farmers rationing maize for their families’ sustenance, and storing seed for future harvests.

“It takes courage for that farmer in Malawi to set aside grain for the future, sacrificing the family’s immediate nourishment. It takes courage and foresight in our leaders here to divert resources desperately needed in other areas to this building,” he said.

Sam Rushforth, dean of UVU’s College of Science & Health, said the new science facility will help take the college’s diverse array of bachelor and associate degree programs to the next level in providing students and faculty with much-needed tools and resources.

GSBS specializes in architectural design, landscape architecture, interior design, planning, and energy engineering. GSBS Architects maintains offices in Salt Lake City and Fort Worth, Texas, and is involved in public‑ and private‑sector projects across the western United States. Big-D Construction has expertise in building scientific laboratories and hospital facilities, and also constructed the University of Utah’s $30 million Health Sciences Education Building. The company was also recently awarded the contract for the science center project at Southern Utah University.

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