Looking forward: Construction update

Carolyn Tanner Irish Building

The building will house the departments of history and philosophy as well as the Asian and Latin American Studies Programs. The Tanner Humanities Center will also be housed in the new building.

Construction began almost two years ago and is nearly complete. The project cost approximately $20 million.

The building will have two lecture halls, seminar and conference rooms and group study rooms. Outside there will be secluded courtyards and a labyrinth.

Goodwill Humanitarian Building

Construction on an addition to the College of Social Work began in 2007 because the college needed facilities to train students in a more interactive atmosphere.

“We expect construction on the Wilford W. and Dorothy P. Goodwill Humanitarian Building will be complete in June 2008,” said Lisa Himonas, development director for the College of Social Work.

Himonas said there is growing emphasis being placed on training students to help assist aging people. More resources are needed to show students how to help people age and make sure their needs are met, including transportation, medical needs and assisted living homes.

Frederick Albert Sutton Geology and Geophysics Building

At a time when the U is making great strides toward improving sustainability, the first “green” building on lower campus is almost complete. The new geology and geophysics building will be “LEED” (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, thanks to solar tubes that bring in natural light, a roof garden, environment-friendly cement and a storm-water collection system.

The geology and geophysics department has grown since the early 1900s and needs more space and better technology to work efficiently. The department tracks seismic activity and trains students in mining and earth sciences.

“This building will give us the resources and facilities we need for modern training,” said Marjorie Chan, department chair for geology and geophysics.

Marta Weeks contributed about $20 million for building construction. The building is named after her father, Frederick Albert Sutton, a graduate of the geology and geophysics department. The completion date is set for June 2009.

Hospital expansion

A three-phase hospital expansion began in 2005. The first phase is an addition to the Critical Care Pavilion, which is mostly complete. The second phase, an addition to the parking structure and helipad, is also mostly complete. The final addition will be the West Pavilion. Construction on the pavilion is ongoing and is expected to be finished sometime in 2009.

“The primary function of the West Pavilion is additional private patient rooms, a new entrance into buildings, new dining/kitchen facilities and administrative offices,” said Jon Erdmann, a senior partner at Architectural Nexus, a construction firm.

Business school

The School of Business is in need of more classrooms and office space. The school has more than doubled since the 1960s and does not have enough offices for faculty members. After raising funds for the past two years, the business school is waiting for legislative approval to move ahead with construction. The school will tear down its two buildings and replace them.

The Utah State Legislature did not approve construction plans for the school during its 2008 session.

“We were starting to choose the contractor when things got put on hold,” said Raelynn Potts, director of business affairs for the school.

The school had raised approximately $79 million for the project and requested an additional $28 million from the Legislature, but legislators decided not to fund or approve the project. “We have enough money to complete the first phase of the project without extra funding, but we need approval to go ahead,” Potts said.

The new buildings would have complete wireless access, better technology in classrooms and rooms for private studying. If the business school receives approval within the next month, design will begin by the end of July 2008, Potts said.

Utah Museum of Natural History

The Utah Museum of Natural History has been planning and fundraising for a new building for more than 10 years, said Jennifer Still, building project manager for the U. The museum’s space is too small, and the technology and facilities don’t meet its needs. The museum received $25 million in funding from the Legislature to construct a new building by Red Butte Gardens in Research Park.

Members of the Salt Lake community have expressed concern that the new building will be located on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail where many students, faculty, staff and community members hike and enjoy the outdoors, Still said.

“Most of the trail users feel that the trail is one of the last in the city,” she said.

Museum administrators said they have designed the building to make sure it is as environmentally friendly as possible and doesn’t block the trail path or ruin the view of sightseers. Construction is expected to begin this summer and will last about two years.

College of Nursing

The College of Nursing has received approval and is in the process of choosing a design team to remodel its building, which is 40 years old and has been deemed seismically unsafe.

“This construction is going to preserve our building and update the heating, wiring and cooling infrastructure,” said Catherine Coda, assistant dean for finance.

The college raised about $8 million through donations and received the other half through legislative funding.

The renovated building will have a new assimilated learning center to give nursing students a place to learn interactively.

“We need more technology to train them properly,” Coda said.

The college also wants to improve the decor and replace windows by raising an additional $4 million. Construction should begin within the next year.


The Union will undergo further construction and remodelling during the next school year. Beside the ongoing upgrades to the sprinkler system, the Union is relocating certain student groups and organizations to make the building more concise.

“The hallway where ASUU is situated will become a student organization space,” said Whit Hollis, Union director.

The Center for Ethnic Student Affairs and The Daily Utah Chronicle are swapping office spaces.

The changes were approved by the Union board in January and will go into effect after the Spring Semester ends.

“We’re spending $950,000 to renovate space in the sections,” Hollis said. “Everytime we do any renovation, we have to bring it up to code.”

The Union is also remodelling the bathrooms near the Chartwells dining area on the first floor.

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