Vitality for USU Eastern
This archived article was written by: Chris Barney
“Vitality” injected into a campus and community, the draft for the new stateof- the-art Central Instructional Building will be confirmed and released shortly after Nov. 18, 2013.
“You never know what it’s going to look like until they hand you the keys,” said USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson. In roughly one week, the plans for the new CIB will be released. After 13 years of lobbying legislature, the school is closer than ever before to realizing a dream.
The CIB will feature glass walls, allowing passers-by to view into its interior. This will display the various classes and subjects being taught inside. Courses taught in the building will include the arts, theatre, music, communication and criminal justice. Chancellor Peterson is excited about what it will bring to not only the campus, but also the community, “this will be a palace.”
Lobbying for funding of the building has been a long process. Eastern’s CIB is up against eight other buildings found in Utah’s other higher education facilities to compete for funding. With the inclusion to Utah State University Logan, and the $500,000 Eastern received from last year’s legislature to work on architectural plans, Eastern stacks up well against the competition to be granted its wish. On Nov. 18, the proposed plans will be confirmed. A press release is sure to follow, Peterson says.
The school has already received $1.4 million from last year’s legislation and various other donors: Tony Basso, Marc Bingham and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. Those listed remain the largest contributors thus far.
Not only has Eastern put forth years of continuous interest in the facility, the building is “a shovel-ready project.”
Following the closure of the legislature March 15, 2014, as long as the school is awarded the remaining $19.5 million, construction will begin. It will be constructed on the quad, between the Geary Theatre and Reeves Building. Its facilities will replace those currently found in the Student Activities Center (SAC building) and Music Center. The old SAC building will be replaced by a central quad, the Music Center by larger lawn space. As excitement for the CIB grows, so is the overall interest for the development of Eastern.
Renovation to the Geary Theatre will follow. Peterson looks toward the project with a positivity often found when exciting change is on the cusp. “Vitality,” Peterson says “is the environment where there are wide open opportunities. It’s really a service to our region [of Southeast Utah]. Realtors use the word ‘curb-appeal.’”
The new building will boost the appearance of campus, which will in turn increase enrollment and public interest.”
Therein is the key to the “injection of vitality.” Rough estimates on the construction suggest the process will take 1½ years, and
school officials hope the building will be ready for the Fall 2015 Semester.