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UVU To Break Ground On New Student Life And Wellness Building And Parking Structure

15 June 2012 5 Comments

June 14, 2012
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Matt Reichman (801) 863-6808

On Monday Utah Valley University President Matthew S. Holland and the UVU campus community will break ground for the construction of the new Student Life and Wellness Building and Parking Structure, a pair of facilities that together will add 323,494 square feet of much-needed space to the heart of UVU’s Orem campus.

The Student Life and Wellness Building will house a host of student-oriented educational and wellness resources, while the Parking Structure will provide six levels of parking stalls.

“This structure will provide an anchor point for students on what is traditionally considered to be a commuter campus,” UVU President Matthew S. Holland said of the new student facility. “Research shows that the more students are engaged with campus life, the more likely they are to reach their educational goals. It will be yet another symbol of UVU’s commitment to student success.”

The two structures will be built side-by-side, adjacent to the north end of the Sorensen Student Center. The groundbreaking ceremony, which begins at 11:30 a.m., marks a new era for “creating a holistic university experience for students at UVU,” said Cory Duckworth, UVU vice president of student affairs.

“We want to provide a collegiate atmosphere that students can have as their own,” said Bob Rasmussen, associate vice president of student life and dean of students. “This building is part of UVU’s program to retain students until they complete their degrees, build school spirit and enhance our existing alumni base.”

The four-story Student Life and Wellness Building will include fitness areas and study and reflection rooms. It will also house new Student Life offices and the Wellness center.

“It’s going to be stunning,” said Rasmussen. The fact that it’s highly accessible, especially for those with gaps in their schedules, will create an immediate daily draw of 3,000 to 5,000 students, he said.

“We wanted to create a destination that was more engaging for students to take care of their life needs, such as staying fit, releasing stress or connecting with other students socially,” Duckworth said.

The Parking Structure, set to open in July 2013, will be built in conjunction with the Student Life and Wellness Building, which is set for completion in December 2013. The two buildings will be connected by an elevated and enclosed walkway. Though the project will displace the current student center visitor lot, the parking structure’s 456 new stalls will more than make up for it, Duckworth said.

GSBS Architects, based in Salt Lake City and Fort Worth, Texas, teamed up with Niagara Falls, New York-based Cannon Design for the architectural design of the structures. Salt Lake City-based Jacobsen Construction will serve as contractor.

The groundbreaking ceremony, which is open to the public, will take place at the build site by the Sorensen Student Center visitor lot. Visitors should note that UVU is currently undergoing a number of construction projects that may obstruct their accustomed routes to campus. They should review the following directions to the ceremony:

From Orem Center Street, head south at 1200 West; at the north of campus, take a left at College Drive, which wraps around the Library to your east and continues to the SC lot.

From University Parkway, head north on 400 West (UVU’s main entrance on Sandhill Road is currently partially closed); head northwest off the 400 West roundabout toward Wolverine Way; take a right on Campus Drive, which weaves down to the SC lot.

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About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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5 Comments »

  • Alex Strasburg said:

    Do WE really need a new student center? I’m not talking about “we” as the UVU administration or major donors/corporations but WE as the student body.

    See, I was under the impression that things were going pretty well at UVU already. Five years ago we got a new library, last year we completed the science building, you would think that that would be enough but it looks like the administration is more interested in increasing enrollement and student fees than really trying to hear the student voice on campus. I was never asked about whether I thought a new student center would be a good idea. At least one of those student survey emails could have been sent out asking what I thought.

    Furthermore why are we so concerned about being seen as a non-commuter campus? There’s obviously a need for a school where students can commute to, otherwise why would Front Runner be coming down to UVU? How is this center really going to benefit those students who have to travel. Wouldn’t there money have been better spent on lowered tuition, more class choices, or possibly better pay for faculty (escpecially adjuncts).

    A better invest for both students and administration would have been to invest in green energy. UVU Alumni Wade Philpotts outlined how UVU could basically eliminate student fees if the school would invest in solar energy and waterless urinals. However this study went unheeded as do most petitions for those who aren’t in the upper echelon of UVU.

    When I first started UVU I was proud to call it my school. Now, I’m not sure. If the Bunnell home can be recklessly destroyed in the name of progress, with little regard for the student voice* what hopes do I have against a bureaucratic system that only sees growth as the main goal. In the end I would rather have less empty “symbols of UVU’s commitment to student success” and more improvement on things that actually matter to the student body. I don’t know, maybe I would just like to be able to use UVU for one year without having some area shutdown because of some damn construction project.

    *http://thebunnell.blogspot.com/

  • Cheryl Cook said:

    Alex has hit the nail on the head with this comment. As another long time student I have watch our quiet campus go from a small homelike college to the largest university in the state. Nice as it is, there has been no increase in parking spaces for anyone especially those of us who are handicapped no YOU KEEP BUILDING ON TOP OF EXISTING PARKING. 3 years ago I was issued handicapped pass #114 when we only had 46 handicapped student parking spots (not counting teacher lots and pay lots. That makes a long walk when they are full and students worse off than I am have no possilblity of making classes on time.
    A greener campus would have gone over better o asking the students what they wanted in the new student center would hve calmed the savage beast in this student. I wish we would get a swimming facility on campus where classes could be taught as well as the exercise it would encorage would be useful for countless students, faculty and the community. DO we need a bowling center, not really, a greener output on the environment,definately. I am so disappointed in my school.

  • Micah said:

    I love UVU and I love how they are continually making improvements. The university is growing and it seems as though it’s trying to get ahead of the game as much as possible. It got crowded fast and new buildings were needed. It takes time to build huge structures like these. But I think UVU is doing great.

    The comment above is by a person who is bitter that they couldn’t turn the old building outside of the LA/ PE building into some cafe’. I understand his frustration but I never heard of it until I looked at the blog he posted. So is it going against the student voice? Nah. Just his and his friend’s.

    UVU is a community school for sure. You can see it in the type of people that fill the classrooms. I think it’s great and I see loads of people working hard to better their lives. So adding a student center that will benefit all these people is fine by me.

  • matt said:

    The Student center is necessary. especially when student enrollment continues to rise. the fitness facility that is located in the LA is a JOKE! the hours say open from 0630-2100 and yet there are weight lifting classes during that time frame so the instructor wont allow anyone else that isn’t in his class to use the weight room. and nobody seems to know about the weight room in the emergency service building or are too lazy to go down by the airport. Needless to say a larger facility is needed to facilitate the growing population of freshmen and would also encourage more students/staff/community members to pursue a healthier life style by making those things available. 1 out of 4 Utahans are obese and during the cold months out of the year that ratio gets worse, because people don’t generally enjoy being out in the cold to exercise so the indoor track is a big positive.

  • Styela said:

    The university is growing and it seems as though it’s trying to get ahead of the game as much as possible.UVU is a community school for sure. You can see it in the type of people that fill the classrooms. UVU Alumni Wade Philpotts outlined how UVU could basically eliminate student fees if the school would invest in solar energy and waterless urinals.

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