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Utah Valley University President Matthew S. Holland and the UVU campus community broke 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,” 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.