Many students stay in town during the six-week break, but most of BYU-Idaho’s student body leave Rexburg during the summer session. This year, the empty campus allowed BYU-I to start 11 improvement projects and pilot its new Freshman Connection program.

Summer construction projects

BYU-I began eleven new campus improvement projects this summer. While many of the projects were completed, a few will carry over into the fall semester and a couple might last until 2024.

George S. Romney Building remodel

The improvements on the Romney Building include an interior basement remodel and an exterior remodel. The interior remodel includes a new photo lab area, an additional classroom, physics labs, offices and a bio-chemistry lab on the second floor.

Former president Henry J. Eyring announced this update in his fall 2022 commencement address. This project will carry into 2024.

Construction in front of the Romney Building.

Construction in front of the Romney Building. Photo credit: Katia Brown

BYU-Idaho Center auditorium

This project was a surprising, but necessary summer endeavor. With the purchase of new choir risers for the BYU-Idaho Center Stage, the stage was deemed too weak to hold the new equipment. The university has installed a new concrete stage and will finish the project after the start of the fall semester.

Taylor/Benson parking lot

Due to Rexburg’s heavy winters, the lot needed an upgrade.

This project will be finished before the start of the fall semester.

John Taylor Building remodel

This remodel focuses on the Taylor Chapel. Changes are being made to ensure the area is ADA-accessible, additionally, the rostrum and pews will be updated.

Hart Main Gym remodel

The sports physical treatment area in the Hart Main Gym is being remodeled.

Other improvements in the John W. Hart Building began prior to the 2023 Summer Session and are ongoing.

HVAC upgrades

BYU-I has made updates to the HVAC systems in the Thomas E. Ricks Building. This is the only summer project affecting the Ricks Building.

Elevator upgrades

The elevators in the Eliza R. Snow Center, Joseph Fielding Smith Building, Mark Austin Building and Taylor Building are currently being improved.

The Bensen parking lot is one of many projects completed this summer.

The Bensen parking lot is one of many projects completed this summer. Photo credit: Chester Chan

BYU-Idaho Stadium drainage project

An excavation project took place under the Stadium. A new drainage system has been put in place.

New pickleball court

The new court has been adapted from the old tennis courts on First West, across the street from the Hart Building. The court will accommodate pickleball and tennis games.

Manwaring Center remodel

The MC remodel is restricted to the third floor. Offices have been added to accommodate the Faculty Development teams. The MC Little Theatre stage has also received updates.

Campus-wide roof replacement

Roof replacement projects include the David O. McKay Library, MC, Hart Building, Ezra Taft Benson Building, Austin Building and the Science and Technology Center.

Campus-wide concrete replacement

BYU-I will continue to replace concrete across campus in the 2023 Fall Semester.

More information on BYU-I’s summer session construction projects can be found in a News and Notes article.

The Hart Building got a new pickleball court this summer.

The Hart Building got a new pickleball court this summer. Photo credit: Chester Chan

Freshmen Connection

During the summer session, BYU-Idaho piloted its new Freshmen Connection program.

Freshmen, geared to start school at BYU-I this fall, received an invitation to participate in an early summer program. The freshmen could come six weeks before the start of the term and experience college life without the hustle and bustle of BYU-I’s typical fall semester.

The program was designed to help new students build connections to campus resources and build friend groups. The school hopes that the program will encourage students to earn their full degrees and use the many resources the university offers.

According to Natalia Perry, the Freshmen Connection student director, the program went well, so well that the university is planning to continue the project.

The program, this year, included 127 freshman students.