June 18, 2021

Board drops fine arts center to 17

The Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) which has listed two buildings on CEU’s campus as the most dangerous, has once again failed to recommend the College of Eastern Utah for funding to replace those buildings. DFCM, which provides staff support for the Utah State Building Board, seems more inclined to build new buildings for itself than to address those already atop a list of dangerous places.

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This archived article was written by: Mike Overson

The Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) which has listed two buildings on CEU’s campus as the most dangerous, has once again failed to recommend the College of Eastern Utah for funding to replace those buildings. DFCM, which provides staff support for the Utah State Building Board, seems more inclined to build new buildings for itself than to address those already atop a list of dangerous places.
If DFCM has its way, the University of Utah and Utah State University will have their needs met while a smaller school such as CEU is left to fend for itself. Little is being done to restore a feeling of safety for theatre and music majors by DFCM.
According to Kevin Walthers vice president of financial administrative services, the process of submitting projects to the Utah Building Board is, “we submit our project to the State Board of Regents along with the other eight schools.   In that process, our project tied for sixth out of ten projects.  
The Regent score considers two factors: space needs and institutional priority for donations and life safety.   We would have finished in sixth alone except that the larger institutions are allowed to submit multiple projects. The multiple submissions lowers our score on the space needs side of the equation.
“Once the Regents rank projects, they are sent to the State Building Board, the oversight board for the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM).   DFCM has listed the Geary Theatre and the Music Building as two of the most dangerous buildings in the state. In 2004 they ranked in the ‘top five’ and are now the two most dangerous buildings on the list.  
Unfortunately, the Building Board seems unconcerned about taking care of failing infrastructure, choosing instead to support expansion projects along the Wasatch Front.
“These projects are submitted to the governor for his consideration as he compiles his priorities for the upcoming year.
“We are very disappointed in the ranking that CEU received, both from DFCM staff and from the Building Board.   We have worked diligently with DFCM to create a solid project that meets our needs without being extravagant.  
“We paid for our own study this summer to reduce the size of the proposed building. We shared that proposal with DFCM in July.   They commented favorably on the project and led us to
believe that we were headed in the right direction.
Once we presented the project we began to receive mixed messages – first we were told that the project wouldn’t score well because it exceeded the size of the existing facility. Then we were assured that DFCM understood that replacing an inadequate facility with another inadequate facility made little sense.
“At the end of the day, we are left to take our case to the Legislature. We are confident the Legislature will look favorably on the project. In the past the Legislature focused on replacing failing infrastructure and we think they will continue in that manner,” Walthers said.
The Building Board list ranks a SL government buildling 1, Gunnison prison expansion 2, Veterans nursing home 3, State hospital 4, UCAT north Utah County campus 5, Utah museum 6, USU agriculture building 7, UCAT health building 8, DFCM/Regents future Draper campus 9, U of U business building 10, SLCC digital design/comm center 11, UVSC science/health building expansion 12, Ogden juvenile court 13, upgrades to seven National Guards 14, DNR expansion 15, DTS Richfield data center expansion 16 and CEU fine arts center 17.

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