U Opens New Sandy Campus Location with Increased Space, Modern Design

Why did the U’s Sandy Campus cross the road? That might depend on who you ask.

The center recently moved across the street from its previous location by Sandy City Hall, on 10000 South, to a building with 5,000 more square feet. Betsy Oswald, assistant dean of operations for Continuing Education and Community Engagement, said the new classrooms will have better technology, such as data projectors, screens and speakers.

The space will also have more computer labs, a student lounge and study areas, as well as more classrooms (a total of 13). Ron Lovik, an instructor in philosophy and academic writing at the Sandy Center, said the new location is more open, professional and modern.

“By moving to a newer, larger space we have a building that was designed for education, rather than just ‘Here’s a building and we’ll deal with the space as we go,’” he said.

The previous building was constructed in 1993, and most students, faculty and staff are happy with the move. It’s still situated near a TRAX station and just off the freeway for increased accessibility.

The move, which took place before the center’s lease was up, was driven primarily by Sandy city officials. The lease would have ended in September of this year, but because of Sandy’s plan to develop the property, the campus had to vacate in May, Oswald said. All summer courses at Sandy were offered at the Murray location this year.

“The timing was lucky,” she said.

The real luck was that construction finished in time for Fall Semester classes. The previous owners’ lease on the space ended on June 19 at 5 p.m. At 5:01 p.m., a general contractor came in to begin the new Sandy Center.

The new center cost about $200,000, thanks to a deal worked out with the new developer so the U would vacate sooner. Costs were covered by the U’s central administration funds. The previous center has now been made into a multi-story office building.

The Sandy Center served more than 1,100 independently enrolled students in 2014 for classes and proctored exams.

There are currently three other off-campus U locations in Murray, Bountiful and St. George. The Murray location serves the highest number of students with 1,871 enrollments in 2014. The location, however, will no longer be available to students come next year as the Sandy Center is closer to most students and big enough to serve them all.

On Friday, the U will hold a ribbon-cutting at 12:30 p.m. at the Sandy Center with activities and an open house.

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@carolyn_webber