Basic classrooms should be priority

The Board of Regents recently placed a request for $28.5 million to build a new U School of Business at the top of its building priority list.

The Utah Legislature will review the request during its spring session and accept or reject the funding.

The proposed funding would contribute to the construction of four new business buildings that would be built in the place of the Madsen and Garff buildings8212;a project that will cost $70 million total.

Last year, the Legislature denied the same proposal. With an economy worse than last year’s, some doubt whether the funding will be approved.

However, more is riding on the funding than just new business buildings. The U desperately needs more classroom space for all students, not just those in the business program. Besides lacking quantity, the quality of many basic classrooms is sub-par. Many classrooms on campus are cramped, old and out-of-date. OSH especially strikes a nerve.

Unfortunately, construction on OSH, or a building to replace it, can’t take place until there is a another location to accommodate displaced departments. During his State of the University Address, U President Michael Young explained plans to use the future business buildings to house students while new classrooms are constructed.

If the Legislature denies funding again, it will also defeat future plans for more, improved classrooms. Learning space for the general student body should be a priority. For this reason, even more than to have new business buildings, the Legislature should approve funding.

Should the funding be approved, the U must follow through with its plan to create more classrooms.

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