April 18, 2024

Plans for CEU’s open space still up in the air

This archived article was written by: Gypsie Delgado & Laura Strate

Many building and landscaping opportunities are approaching as CEU finds ways to utilize the empty spaces created by the demolition of the main building and science building in December. CEU is working with the DFCM (Division of Facilities of Construction Management) to put into works the best options available in designing temporary and permanent landscaping and structures in CEU’s empty spaces. DFCM is the state entity that works with the state’s higher education facilities.
There have been many rumors what CEU has planned for the land as well as talk of land and building swaps. “What’s real is that we are creating a master plan,” stated President Ryan Thomas. “We are anticipating that that will be finished later this spring and are hoping that there will be funding to replace the Science building. However, that has not yet been approved. Regarding the space where the old Reeve’s building stood, there has been some talk of a curved entry way into campus that would create some additional parking spaces.”
A short-term plan would be to install a sprinkler system and lay sod, said Cliff Coppersmith who has set in on many of the planning meetings. He added, the exposed side of the Music Building could be stuccoed and a large marque advertising campus events could be built.
Thomas explained, There is a program through DFSC whereby older buildings are replaced, if the replacement cost is $1.5 million or less. “We were hoping that if there would be money available, we could move forward with that.
“If a building was built with that funding, it would be about a 10,000 square foot building. Building costs right now are about $150 dollars a square foot,” said Thomas.
An idea of what to do with the space created by the demolition of the science building is building a 10,000-square foot classroom building, said Dr. Cliff Coppersmith. He feels additional classroom space is needed and that is a possible location.
CEU hasn’t formalized a plan yet, they have been exploring their options. “It would be a possibility to acquire the LDS Church [near the Reeves Building] or the Milky Way or both or neither. I don’t know at this point where all that is going to go. The part that the architects are looking at as they work with us in developing a master plan is what are the next planned buildings for campus,” Thomas said.
DFCM arranged for CEU to look at the LDS Church (on 600 East and 400 North) that has been the extent of it. If the college acquires the LDS Church, Coppersmith said it could be remodeled into classroom space and offices. There has also been talk of CEU acquiring the old Institute Building, the tennis courts and all the houses across the street. “We have the Fine Arts Building that we have requested for several years. We anticipate that the next building to be built on campus, unless we get just a small building to replace the Science Building. We will probably need a Fine Arts Building,” he stated.
Coppersmith said the Geary Theatre and Music Building could be demolished because of safety hazards. The theatre does not meet fire or earthquake regulations and the Music Building continually has roof problems.
The Fine Arts Building would include the two-dimensional arts facility, painting, photography, drama and music programs. “Beyond that we would love it if we could build a big enough building for the dance program,” said Thomas.
CEU has also been talking to Price city and the county about a joint library or a joint recreation center.
“If we get money, which would be great, then we’ll know whether we are building, purchasing or we are trying to swap,” Thomas said. One of the assets CEU has is the old Durrant School property that could be involved in a landswap.
“If we are not going to build a permanent facility in the Science building space, we’ve talked about a possible volleyball, basketball area which would be cool. That is the reason that we have the bare ground. We are trying to plan and figure out what ought to go there.
“When the weather improves a bit, we will try to do something with the side of the theater, it looks like it needs a band aid. It has an uncertain future and we have just kind of held it where it is for the time being,” Thomas said.
Coppersmith expects the campus to grow in enrollment. It is predicted that enrollment should increase 10 to 13 percent in the upcoming semesters and CEU needs more classroom space to offer classes.
Building and construction decisions are done by the DFMC for all the campuses in higher education, Coppersmith said. There are a lot of possibilities, but nothing has been confirmed.