UVU breaks ground for new classroom building

Participants in UVU's Classroom Building groundbreaking smile as they initiate the work for the building. (Photo by Chris Bunker)
Participants in UVU’s Classroom Building groundbreaking smile as they initiate the work for the building. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

Utah Valley University president Matthew Holland, along with other UVU and community leaders, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday for a new Classroom Building to be built on UVU campus.

As UVU continues to grow, leaders have been looking for new ways to help the school cope with the growth and change.

“I’ve been asked repeatedly to say, ‘How important is it that you have this building at UVU?,’ and the phrase that keeps coming to mind is that it’s not important, it’s beyond important, it was absolutely essential. It was imperative for the carrying out of our mission here,” Holland said.

Holland mentioned that UVU’s greatest driver of growth is found in junior and senior students who decide to stay at UVU instead of transferring to other schools. UVU needs more space for more students. The Classroom Building will help give those students the extra space needed.

Holland also recognized the state legislators that approved the design and funding for the new building.

“We are so grateful for the leaders who are assembled here today and a number of those who are not here today that saw in a state that had a lot of needs and a lot of pressures that this (building) was absolutely essential, that this was the building that had to be built for higher education,” Holland said.

Rebecca Lockhart, the Utah House of Representatives Speaker of the House, also spoke at the meeting. Lockhart was a major advocate and the driving force in the Utah Legislature behind the construction of the new Classroom Building.

“The right decision was made to fund this building,” Lockhart said.

The Classroom Building received state approval at the close of the Utah Legislature’s 2013 general session.

Construction of the Classroom Building will cost $54 million. It will be the biggest building on UVU campus, providing 244,000 additional square feet of study and learning space. It will feature 34 classrooms of different sizes, as well as an auditorium.

Joseph Smith, lead architect on the Classroom Building, called it “a unique facility that there is nothing else like in the state, or in the western United States.”

It is anticipated that the Classroom Building will be completed by December 2014.

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