December 17, 2010 by Aaron Kunz from KPVI News 6

The massive new BYU-Idaho Center will officially open to the public tomorrow after a dedication ceremony. Aaron Kunz did a walk through tour of the building this afternoon and has our report from Rexburg. Nothing about the 435,000 square foot BYU-Idaho Center is just a building. Every square inch from the 15,000 seat auditorium to the ten full sized basketball courts is custom made for the private university owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Kim B. Clark said “So gathering is really essential to the church, to the gospel, to the university and these buildings I think embody that purpose.”

President Kim B. Clark told a room of reporters today the BYU-Idaho Center is not like any other building in the world. The only comparison would be Conference Center in Salt Lake ... also owned by the LDS Church.

President Clark said “The folks that run the Conference Center have been most gracious in coming here to advise us on this building. We’ve also had many people from BYU-Idaho that have been down in the Conference Center shadowing their counterparts.” The LDS Conference Center holds 21 ,000 people —only 6,000 more than the new BYU-Idaho Center. In fact, the Rexburg building also has a full video control studio so meetings can be recorded and even broadcast by satellite to Salt Lake and KBYU.

Aaron Kunz said “After we’ve thrown out all the numbers this is really where you get to see where concept meets reality and just how big the BYU-Idaho Center really is. It dwarfs a human being. The question is though whether or not the growth at BYU-Idaho will out grow this new building, we asked that question to President Clark.”

President Clark said “Will there come a day when there will be so many students that not all the student body can fit into that building ... that’s possible. But I think it will meet the needs of the university for as long as we can see.”

President Clark says he’s not sure how the building will evolve over time, but he believes it could be a hub not only for the campus at BYU-Idaho but the Rexburg community and the rest of the higher education facilities owned by the LDS Church.

President Clark said, “I doubt at least in your lifetime and my lifetime that we’ll ever see anything like the BYU-Idaho Center on this campus ... l would be greatly surprised if we did.”

To give you an idea just how big the BYU-Idaho Center is it’s more than twice the size of the Holt Arena in Pocatello.