IAN YOUNG | Scroll Photography

Student growth leads to campus construction

IAN YOUNG | Scroll Photography

IAN YOUNG | Scroll Photography

Construction is underway on the BYU-Idaho campus. During the spring semester, routes to the Hinckley and all of Sage Street and First West between Fifth South and Seventh South have been blocked off.

“More students and the growth of academics is the main cause for the recent developments,” said Rulon Nielsen, the director of Facilities Planning and Construction. “With this growth, we are allowed to take advantage to serve more students.”

There was a 6.3 percent increase of students from Spring Semester 2015 to Spring Semester 2014. The amount of students enrolled in Spring Semester 2014 was 12,931 compared to this semester of 13,742, according to the BYU-I enrollment figures from the BYU-I Newsroom Web page.

“I think that this construction is frustrating,” said Jessica Wells, a freshman majoring in general studies. “I think that the construction should be done during the seven-week break when many students aren’t here.”

Nielsen said they plan for the construction to be done during the summer, but most projects cannot be finished in the seven-week break.

“Since the spring semester has about 1,000 fewer students than any other semester, this was the right time to start these projects,” Nielsen said.

He said other projects in progress are Center Square and transforming the Lamprecht housing into the online activities building and Chapman housing into additional office space.

“The need is identified by the department on their growth and academics,” Nielsen said. “Whenever a department needs to be expanded, a proposal is set, and the process begins.”

Nielsen said the process to get a new project approved goes through many different outlets.

He said it begins with a contractor writing up the plan, then moves on to the president’s executive committee. If approved there, the project moves to the Executive Board of Trustees, which consists of the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and members of the Seventy. He said the project then has to be approved by the full board, which includes presiding bishoprics and the members previously mentioned.

“I feel that most construction done is done very sloppy,” said Jake Barthelmy, a junior majoring in family studies. “I feel that most of the construction is done just to be aesthetically pleasing. I feel that on the outside it looks nice, but in other places there are just piles of rubble.”

Nielsen said many of these projects take time.

The I- Center was under construction for three years, and it has nearly 435,000 square feet of space, according to the BYU-Idaho Center Web page.

“Construction and planning of the new science and technology building had started three years ago,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen said there are many projects they would be OK with doing in the seven-week break, but there is not enough time to complete the project before the Fall Semester 2015 begins.

“Having construction going on now makes the most sense,” Barthelmy said. “It’s the only time where the weather doesn’t fluctuate drastically, and they are able to get more done during this time.”

Nielsen said other projects will take place during the seven-week break, such as fixing mechanic issues and the air and heating in different buildings.

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