The University of Utah Institutional Council Monday approved construction of the school's regulated-waste packaging building on a site far from residential neighbors, but the improvements to the new site will boost the building's price tag by $300,000.
The packaging facility will be constructed on a site east of the school's baseball field, which is located southeast of the Medical Center on the road to Red Butte Canyon.U. Administrative Vice President Walter P.Gnemi stressed that the building is a holding facility, not a disposal site. Waste sent to the building is packaged under Occupational, Safety and Health Administration guidelines and then shipped to an out-of-state disposal site.
He said the bulk of the waste comes from the U. Medical Center, sciences and engineering. The university generates about 26,000 pounds of chemical waste and 3,000 cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste per year.
Gnemi said the materials really can't be considered hazardous, so the facility has been renamed the regulated-waste packaging building. The building was originally designated the hazardous-waste packaging facility.
U. President Chase N. Peterson added, "Most of it is less toxic than the materials you have in your garage right now."
In July 1987, when the U. announced plans to construct the facility at Guardsman Way and Fifth South, Yalecrest Community Council members objected, arguing that the facility would handle toxic material just blocks from their homes. The U. then agreed to consider other sites.
The new site was selected based on recommendations from a private consulting firm.
Gnemi said the site change increased the project's cost from $641,600 to $944,300. The new site requires access roads and utility lines, but they will be constructed so it will be possible to add other buildings in the future, he said.
The additional cost will be funded from state contingency funds and institutional funds.
When questioned about the need for additional cost, Gnemi said the university was left with no other choice. "It's about the only site on campus that won't raise similar objections from other residential neighbors or groups of people on campus," he said.
The U. now will request the State Division of Facilities Construction and Management to appoint an architect and to proceed with the project.