Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sod fills site in lieu of science building

On a campus filled with buildings, two trees spring up from an empty site just east of the University Inn. Unfortunately for students, the allotment of funds needed to construct a building here could be just as sparse as the site’s vegetation.

USU is asking legislature for $45 million in order to construct a new biological sciences building on the location, but according to some campus officials, the outlook does not look good.

“It didn’t score real high on the statewide priority list,” said Ben Barrett, director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction. “It’d be a long shot this year for that project. This is the first year we’ve submitted for that project. Quite often that’s something you kind of have to get in line for.”
While $45 million would help the project, Jim MacMahon, dean of the College of Science, said it would take even more money to fund the building’s construction.

Barrett and MacMahon said it is possible USU will get partial funding for the project this year, which will allow them to begin design work. Barrett said the design work alone on a building of this size would take almost a year to complete.

Knowing it was not likely the project would be approved its first year of submission, Barrett said they laid sod and installed an irrigation system in order to make the land available for campus activities, as well as to provide an environmental benefit and save time spraying weeds. USU Statesman