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Orem —Utah Valley University President Matthew S. Holland and the UVU campus community broke ground on a new $54 million classroom building, which received state approval at the close of the Utah Legislature’s 2013 general session. The facility is planned to deliver much-needed physical learning space for students and faculty at space-strapped UVU, which is projected to be the largest public institution of higher education in the state by 2022, with more than 46,000 students.
The classroom building will provide 244,000 additional square feet of study and learning spaces, including more than 3,000 classroom seats per hour. The facility will feature 34 classrooms ranging in size from 40 to 330 seats and a 1,000-seat auditorium. It will also house group study facilities and faculty spaces.
“This state-of-the-art structure will provide students with the requisite learning environment that will lead to their lifelong success outside of the classroom,” said Holland. “We applaud Gov. Herbert, Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, the Utah Legislature and the UVU community for their continued support and resolve in helping make this facility a reality.”
Legislators approved design and planning funding for the UVU Classroom Building in 2012, and the project was one of the state’s principal shovel-ready building projects heading into the 2013 legislative general session. The building’s design is by architect firms CRSA Architecture and Method Studio. The general contractor for the project will be Big-D Construction.
Student headcount has increased by 7,000 students over the past five years putting classroom space at UVU at a premium. UVU currently has the fewest square feet per student of all USHE institutions. A recent independent study commissioned by the Utah Board of Regents found that UVU currently has a USHE-low 56 assignable square feet per FTE, or full-time student equivalent. The study also indicated that UVU would need a minimum of 757,000 additional assigned square feet by 2020 to accommodate growth.
“With the number of students currently enrolled at UVU, and projected to be enrolled here in the future, the addition of the classroom building significantly increases our ability to deliver a quality higher education to our students,” said Ian Wilson, senior vice president for academic affairs. “This facility will be a boon to the academic success of our students.”
It is anticipated that the Classroom Building will be completed by December 2014.