President Eyring, who served as president of Ricks College, the predecessor to BYU-Idaho, from 1971-77, spoke of the great people who attend the university.
"I am often asked if I knew, as the president of Ricks College, what its future held," President Eyring said. "I did not see that the college would become the university it is today. There were only subtle impressions — feeling that this was a special place that needed to keep its spiritual standards high while staying close to its roots. I particularly felt the need to maintain our pioneer frugality."
Remembering the time when President Gordon B. Hinckley called him into his office to discuss the possibility of Ricks College becoming a four-year university, President Eyring spoke of the process the university went through to become the school it is today.
"In the summer of 2000, President Hinckley announced the creation of BYU-Idaho, he projected that the school would grow in terms of students served," he said. "He cited year-round operation and innovative instructional technologies as the primary means for enabling that growth."
Despite challenges encountered with the building phase, President Eyring said that the construction of the new building and renovations to the Manwaring Center were done under prophetic inspiration.
"I am not sure of what the Lord has planned for this university. Some future growth seems likely and the university seems to have been prepared to respond. These two facilities we dedicate today may be part of that preparation," he said. "We cannot see the future with precision but we can know what the Lord intends to accomplish and what it will take each of us to qualify personally to participate. He has laid plans for preparing the church for His return. He reveals those plans a line at a time not only to prophets but to all of His worthy servants whose assignments require such revelation. These facilities, along with other buildings on this campus and the temple on the hill above it, have been constructed in accordance with His plans. The university is on a steady, upward course that will allow it to play a remarkable role in the church and the world."
BYU-Idaho Center facts
Total square feet: 434,859
Total cubic feet: 5 million
Size of roof: 4.8 acres
Pounds of steel: 14 million
Longest steel truss: 258 feet
Auditorium seating: 15,000
Auditorium screens: 34 feet by 19 feet
Auditorium stage: 106 feet wide
Light fixtures: 7,000
Total concrete: 25,500 yards (enough to build a sidewalk 6 feet wide and 70 miles long)
Ground was broken Oct. 31, 2006
A full-functioning broadcast center has been developed
A large studio for controlled recordings will provide higher-quality production
The multi-purpose area is large enough for 10 basketball courts
A four-lane jogging track is suspended inside the multi-purpose area
A skybridge connects the BYU-Idaho Center to the John W. Hart Building
Manwaring Center facts
Total square feet: 275,800 (before expansion, 143,000; addition, 132,800; remodeled, 108,400)
Dining capacity of The Crossroads: 1,200
Serving capacity of The Crossroads: 1,000 every 30 minutes
Original dining capacity: 265
Design and construction was completed while the building was occupied
Multiple seismic upgrades have been included
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