Still hope for new building

Art, dance and theatre
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 9:18pm

Choir, art, dance, theatre, and fine arts in general; each one of these programs at the College of Eastern Utah is holding its breath for one positive decision by the legislature to be made.

A proposal was sent out concerning the CEU Geary Theater and the Music Building to be torn down and a new, safer, building would be built to house all of the fine arts departments.

According to a flyer handed out by CEU Ambassadors, the building would be constructed on the now existing Reeve's Building Lawn at CEU. Where the two buildings are located now would be turned into a nice-looking parking lot. This would be very good for CEU's campus.

Why would these buildings need to be changed? They look structurally sound, right? According to the Utah State Higher Education, "The Geary Theater and the Music Building were listed as first and second on DFCM's list of the state's most dangerous buildings."

As a result of this change, the many art courses would be able to be instructed in the same building. It would thus combine programs from four buildings at CEU: the art department in the McDonald Career Center, the Gallery East in the SAC building, and of course the theater and the music buildings. All of these programs would be found in the same building, making the campus more organized, said Intern President Mike King.

Furthermore, there would be space where the theater students would be able to construct the sets for productions. As it is, they build everything onstage, and this becomes more and more difficult as their production evolves, said Ashton Scarlet, a CEU Ambassador.

Not only would this change help out the art departments, it would give up more space to programs, which now don't have the space they need.

One of the programs that would be affected is the nursing department. As it is, they don't have near as much space as they need. The change would open up more classrooms and give them more room to do what needs to be done. Kimball Johnson, director of the CEU nursing program, said as a faculty member, it was hard to work with the space they have and that it is hard to fit 16 people around one bed during a demonstration.

The good news is that CEU is higher on the USHE development priorities list. This year CEU is ranked the fifth, preceded by Dixie State, first; Utah Valley University, second; Salt Lake Community College, third; and the University of Utah, fourth.

How much might this arrangement cost? The CEU requested building amount is $22 million. While this seems like a lot of money, other schools are asking more. According to USHE Capital Development Priorities, Dixie is asking $35 million for their Holland Centennial Commons Building; UVU is asking $49 million for their Science/Health Sciences Building addition; SLCC is asking $30 million for their Instructional and Administrative Complex; and UU is asking $15 million for Infrastructure Phase one.

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