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Utah Valley University officials have released details regarding a $54 million classroom building that will give students on the institution’s space-strapped campus some much-needed breathing room. The classroom building was approved by the Utah State House of Representatives and Senate last week at the close of the Legislature’s 2013 session. It now awaits the signature of Gov. Gary Herbert.
For the past two years, the facility’s approval and construction has been a top priority of UVU President Matthew S. Holland.
“The Utah Legislature’s approval of funding for the new classroom building is a crucial win for UVU students, and we’re grateful for lawmakers’ support,” Holland said. “I thank all those who have worked so diligently to make it a reality. This new facility will help ensure that students and faculty members have the physical learning tools and atmosphere that is vital to student success.”
Legislators approved the design and planned funding for the UVU classroom building a year ago, and the proposed facility was one of the state’s principal shovel-ready building projects heading into the 2013 legislative session. The building has been designed by architect firms CRSA Architecture and Method Studio.
Pending the governor’s signature, the UVU classroom building will provide more than 240,000 additional square feet, including 34 classrooms ranging in size from 40 to 330 seats and a 1,000-seat auditorium. In all, the institution will gain more than 3,000 per hour classroom seats. Study rooms and faculty offices are also in the plans.
The classroom building will provide much-needed academic learning space for one of the state’s largest universities. UVU currently has the fewest square feet per student of all institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education. A recent independent study commissioned by the Utah Board of Regents found that UVU only 56 assignable square feet per FTE (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, at which time the student body is projected to crest the 43,000 threshold.
UVU officials hope to break ground on the classroom building later this summer.