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Work begins on wing of UVSC center

But the addition could be too small when it is finished

Published: Wednesday, June 7 2000 5:20 p.m. MDT

OREM — Unless runaway growth at Utah Valley State College is curbed, a newly started wing to the student center will be too small when it is done.

UVSC President Kerry D. Romesburg said Tuesday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the $11 million addition that another expansion is already in the works.

"We are talking about that now," said Romesburg. "We had a meeting the other day about another addition to this addition."

The 47,000-square-foot addition marks the fourth time UVSC has expanded and renovated the Wilson W. Sorensen Student Center since its 1997 construction.

The project is scheduled to be complete in 2001.

Students agreed to a student-fee hike to fund the addition. Next year, full-time students will pay $160 a semester in fees.

Project plans include a larger bookstore and ballroom, a commons area, a computer lab and a fast-food court.

A $50,000 monolith engraved with plaudits about the value of education also may be built as part of the project.

Sorensen, who led the school during its formative years as a vocational-training facility, recalls when the bookstore was a small space behind a secretary's desk.

As the school grew, he said, it was moved to a closet. Sorensen is amazed at UVSC's progress since 1982, when he retired as president.

Romesburg said construction on the addition has the potential to snarl traffic on campus.

He says the project "will be one of the largest interruptions" to traffic leaving and coming into the school.

Even after last year's record enrollment, UVSC is bracing for a growth spurt that could reach into 2008.

Six years after Salt Lake City hosts the Winter Olympic Games, UVSC could have 30,000 students, he said.

Some 20,000 students enrolled for classes last fall at UVSC. Up to 21,500 students are expected this year at the four-year community college.

Early enrollment figures highlight the concern for additional classroom and commons space for students.

As of Friday, when the school tabulated the numbers, 5,877 students had enrolled in at least one class, an increase of some 1,000 students over last year's figures at this time.

"Growth is a wonderful thing," Romesburg said. "It sure beats the alternative."


E-MAIL: jeffh@desnews.com

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