Construction is underway on the new Science and Technology Building at Brigham Young University-Idaho, with crews currently working to excavate the site. Initial work has also begun on pouring the building's foundation.
Located on the southern edge of campus on Sage Street between Center Street and 1st West, the 108,000 sq. ft. facility will provide needed classroom, lab, and faculty office space for the Departments of Animal and Food Science, Applied Plant Science, Computer Information Technology, and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. The corridors and study areas in the three-level building will be open and airy, with large windows throughout to allow for natural lighting.
"The Science and Technology Building is designed to be functional and practical, yet attractive and conducive to learning," said Wayne Clark, managing director of University Operations at BYU-Idaho. "This building will meet a number of academic needs at the university, and it will be exciting to see how students are blessed by the opportunities and resources it will provide."
Construction on the Science and Technology Building will continue through the summer of 2016, with the facility expected to be ready for use by Fall Semester 2016. Work is continuing on two other major construction projects: a new heat plant and a new housing complex for students.
The new Central Energy Facility, begun in 2013, replaces aging coal-fired boilers with natural gas equipment. Two of the new gas-fired boilers are now operational and have been providing heat for campus buildings since November 2014. The old coal-fired plant has been decommissioned and is being prepared for demolition. The Central Energy Facility is on track to be completed in 2016.
Centre Square, a new housing complex for male and female students, is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy this fall. Located on the northwest corner of 7th South and 1st West, Centre Square consists of three buildings that will offer a total of 850 beds.
Two of the buildings will house female students, with the remaining building housing male students. Centre Square will offer apartments in 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom floor plans. A total of 24 common areas will dot the property including lounges, lobbies, study rooms, music rooms, and two large gathering rooms. A large green space will sit between the buildings.
"As its name implies, Centre Square is intended to be a place of gathering and fellowship," said Troy Dougherty, director of Housing and Student Living at BYU-Idaho. "We envision this new housing complex truly being a community of men and women centered on living the principles of the gospel."
Other changes are coming to existing on-campus housing facilities. This spring, Ricks Hall will switch temporarily from women's to men's housing. This change will provide male residents with an on-campus apartment option that includes a full kitchen. The other men's building, Chapman Hall, does not include a kitchen. This change also brings the available number of on-campus units for male and female students into greater balance.
In April, Lamprecht Hall will be converted into office space and be occupied by university employees beginning August 2015. Chapman Hall will be converted to office space at a later date as needed. The remaining on-campus housing buildings-Barnes, Kerr, Perkins, and Ricks Halls-are scheduled to be demolished in 2016. The land formerly occupied by those buildings is set to become student parking.
"The existing on-campus housing buildings have reached the end of their usable life span," Clark said. "Fortunately, we have the flexibility to retain and repurpose two of them as much needed office space. But with the completion of the new Centre Square complex just around the corner, the time is right to take the remaining buildings out of service."
Finally, the Viking Village apartment complex, located at the northeast corner of 2nd South and College Avenue, has been purchased by the university and is currently being demolished. This project is part of the university's broader effort to purchase property along College Avenue for future institutional needs.
The land formerly occupied by the Viking Village complex will be converted to a 154-stall parking lot. Construction on the parking lot, which will be designated for "North" zone permits, will begin this summer and will be completed in time for Fall Semester 2015.