BYUSA president holds 700 North construction memorial event

Savannah Hopkinson
Construction workers continue projects south of BYU campus. Provo City has 13 construction projects currently planned, including the ongoing construction on 700 North.  (Savannah Hopkinson)

Dillon Ostlund, president of BYUSA, is putting a spin on the inconvenient and seemingly endless construction projects in Provo and turning them into something fun.

A construction memorial event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lanai Apartments clubhouse, in the heart of the construction. Everyone is invited to come, and dressing up like a construction worker is encouraged.

The event will include a moment of silence, honoring the time spent working on the road, a possible slideshow, and a dance party lasting until about 10:30 p.m. 

“It started off as a joke,” Ostlund said, “Like, what if I created an event on Facebook, what if I started inviting people, what if we made it a memorial… and then before I knew it the whole thing became real.”

Ostlund is one of many Provo residents directly affected by the construction on 700 North. He’s holding a memorial service to mark the one-year anniversary of the construction project, despite his frustrations with how long the project has taken. 

BYU senior Nick Romney also expressed frustration with the construction.

“The construction in Provo is awful, you seriously can’t go anywhere without taking a detour,” Romney said.

Romney and Ostlund aren’t the only ones being inconvenienced — students and residents all across Provo have been feeling the pains of construction during what Provo’s own website refers to as “construction season.”

Provo City plans to complete 13 separate construction projects this year, and with so many projects happening simultaneously, complications have arisen that affect their completion dates. Problems like bad weather and limited machinery have made these projects cause more grief than what some residents, like BYU student Ryan Fertig, would consider worthwhile. 

“I was here a year ago, and I don’t remember that road (700 North) being all that bad,” Fertig said. “But then again it’s been so long since they started construction that I have a tough time remembering that far back.”

Ostlund’s plan with this memorial service is to help students find a bit of “tongue-in-cheek fun” amidst the nonstop construction.

“Some things you celebrate and some things you observe,” Ostlund emphasized. “We aren’t celebrating the construction, we’re taking a moment to observe it.”

Students can view a map of current and planned construction projects on Provo City’s website.

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