President Eyring dedicates two buildings at BYU-Idaho

Published: Friday, Dec. 17 2010 10:00 p.m. MST

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

Toilets: 212

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

Toilets: 98

Design and construction was completed while the building was occupied

Multiple seismic upgrades have been included

e-mail: mholman@desnews.com

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