This fall, Utah State University has its largest student body ever - an increase of more than 1,000 students over last fall.
And in the fiscal year ended June 30, university faculty attracted more than $80 million in contract and grant funds, also a major increase over prior years.As the student body and the research and service mission of the university continue to grow, the campus itself is also changing.
The campus has more than 100 major buildings on a 400-acre site. Students coming to the campus this fall saw two new major buildings and work progressing on many other projects.
The new projects during the past school year include finishing the $8.5 million Emma Eccles Jones Education Building and moving into most of the $3.5 million Biotechnology Building. The university is seeking funding to complete the top level and basement.
In addition, work continues on remodeling of Old Main, the first building on campus. Old Main was begun in 1889 and several additional phases were added over the years. Now several phases of remodeling are in progress.
Currently, the east wing is being improved structurally, a new roof has been placed on the east and west wings and a tower is going onto the east entrance, matching those on other wings of the building. Work is under way on putting in partitions for offices and classrooms in the east wing.
A visible construction project is the addition to the Haight Alumni Center, where a banquet hall is being added to the existing alumni house. Work, financed by Jon Huntsman in honor of his father-in-law, David B. Haight, is scheduled to end early next year.
Work has also begun on a new Agricultural Education Building on 800 East Street at about 1500 North. The state of Utah has appropriated $3.4 million for the project. Another state project, an animal diagnostic laboratory for the State Department of Agriculture, will be nearby on 1400 North.
This fall also saw the beginning of construction on a library addition to the Quinney Natural Resources Building, funded by a 1.3 million grant from the Quinney Foundation.
State funding will finance renovation of the Family Life Building basement for the Child Development Laboratory. Moving Technical Services to a new location and making that unit's old building part of the Child Development Lab project are also planned.
An energy conservation project in Widtsoe Hall and other buildings will rework the mechanical systems for more efficiency and will save both money and energy, according to Ed Brinck, construction coordinator for Campus Planning and Engineering.
Other projects include repairs on the parking terrace, several roofing jobs and utilities work.
A major utility project soon to begin will cost about $8 million over two years. It will upgrade sewer, electric and other lines and provide a modern telephone system to interface with US WEST's proposed fiber-optic network.