Construction on campus is both a sign of progress and an ongoing part of campus life with significant changes taking place over the summer.
“I think it’s safe to say that every campus is kind of a living organism,” said Todd Hollingshead, media manager for University Communications. “We have building that have been here for many, many years…when they see when they need to replace buildings, they do that.”
Here are some updates on how the campus has changed over the past few months:
Recently-completed work includes the addition of a new sound system, changing the student section and updating the locker rooms and players’ benches.
Because of the renovations, there are now only 20,900 seats compared to the previous 22,700 seats. However, the student section, which is being relocated, now has padded blue chairs instead of hard benches.
Life Science Building
Cement walls are now visible evidence of progress on the construction of the new Life Science Building on the south end of campus. That project is currently on schedule with completion expected by the end of 2014.
The building cascades down a hill and will have an open atrium walkway connecting it to campus. The building will also incorporate a three-level parking garage.
Tree of Wisdom
In October 2011, the “Tree of Wisdom” sculpture was removed from campus, leaving an empty space south of the Spencer W. Kimball Building.
“It was brought down because it wasn’t structurally safe anymore because of years of wear and tear,” Hollingshead said.
In 1975, Student body officers presented the “Tree of Wisdom” to the university as a Centennial gift in 1975. The statue has been moved several times since then. It was first erected north of the Harold B. Lee Library and then in front of the SWKT.
When rebuilt, the statue will be situated between the Mckay Building and the Joseph Smith Building. “It will be a more open area that can be used for activities on campus,” said Hollingshead.
The precast concrete elements of the sculpture are being fabricated off campus and will be installed north of the Joseph Smith Building, possibly within several weeks.
Construction is still on track for the eight new buildings going into Heritage Halls. Four of those eight buildings have been completed. Two buildings will be completed for Fall 2013 and the final two will be ready in winter 2014. They will accommodate 1,600 students when the project is completed.
The new Heritage Halls structures are being built to replace the student housing where Deseret Towers once stood. Single-student housing has temporarily been relocated to Wyview Park in the meantime.
Overpasses to Marriott Center
Two overpasses are being added for walking traffic to the Marriott Center. The west and east side, just north of the Abraham Smoot Building, have been completed. There are two arms to make it easier to get to devotionals and basketball games.
While there is still construction underway, Hollingshead said that it shouldn’t interrupt the flow of traffic or get in the way of students.
“We appreciate students’ and campus visitors’ and employees’ patience,” Hollingshead said. “Sometimes there are some inconveniences, but in the end the new facilities will be a benefit for every one in the campus community.”