The new Southern Utah State College student center was dedicated Friday afternoon, culminating plans that were begun in 1972.

The cost of the new center is $2.8 million. It is being financed by student fees and with profits generated by school auxiliaries that occupy the building.Michael O. Leavitt, chairman of the SUSC Institutional Council and a Cedar City native, commented during the ceremony that many of his childhood memories are of times spent in the family room and kitchen of his parents' home and hoped the memories of students using the new student center's dining room and living room also will be good ones.

Elder Marion D. Hanks, a member of the LDS Church First Quorum of the Seventy and a former member of the SUSC board of trustees, offered the dedicatory prayer at the conclusion of the ceremonies in the Thunder Circle Dining Room.

Hanks praised those who worked to make the building possible, to provide for and serve the needs of students now and in the future. Hanks talked about opportunities he has had to view many educational settings and the importance facilities play in the lives of students all over the world.

He said, "The new building will provide much utility and be very meaningful in the lives of students who attend college here."

SUSC President Gerald Sherratt told of the small student center bookstore on campus when he attended SUSC as a young man. He related how he grew to appreciate the need for a strong student center.

Sherratt said the building was a long time in the planning stages and told how difficult it was for the Institutional Council to come up with a method of financing the new building.

"It was a long-overdue and much-needed addition to our campus. We had completely outgrown the facility we were using."

He also said the student center is much more than a place to eat and buy books.

"It plays a vital part in the education of students. It is an educational center where students can meet to discuss their college experiences. It should be a place where they feel comfortable and enjoy spending time."

He said the college plans to begin a second phase on the building in five to six years. The building took a year to build, under the direction of Carter Enterprises of Cedar City.

It is on the site of the old War Memorial Fieldhouse, former home of SUSC basketball.