BYU-Idaho has seen quite a few changes throughout its history, and the updates aren’t stopping anytime soon. As the world continues to advance technologically, the university is doing what it can to make its services easier, safer and more current.
Kirkham Building Demolition
The Oscar A. Kirkham Building is the oldest structure on campus. Built in the 1950s, it has served as a home to Center Stage productions, the ceramics lab and many art, dance and theatre majors over the years. However, because of its age, it has the potential for structural concerns and does not comply with the American Disabilities Act, so administration has plans to demolish it.
“It’s old, and it also costs us a lot of maintenance,” said Andy Johnson, head of construction with University Operations. “The administration has said, ‘Let’s look at how we can schedule that out and take it down before it becomes a problem,’ so that’s what we’re looking at.”
According to Johnson, new locations for the ceramics lab and auditorium are still in the works.
“What would we do with the ceramics lab, would we build them a new space, would we have to move them temporarily?” Johnson said. “Those are the things we’re exploring right now. We’re presenting a model now where (the auditorium) is in the Auxiliary Gym in the Hart Building … something that’s a little more suitable to the productions that they do in the Kirkham currently” Johnson said.
The space that the Kirkham Building now occupies will be used for a new campus sign, landscaping and additional parking.
The BYU-Idaho Stadium recently received new turf for the safety and convenience of students who play there. Similar changes are in the works for the practice fields south of campus.
“The turf is 12 years old, and it’s worn really well, but it’s also reached the end,” Johnson said.
This upgrade will take place in Summer 2019.
Changes to University Village
University Village, the married student housing complex at 111 W. 7th S., will be receiving some upgrades in the coming year, including air conditioning in each unit and a community center.
“We hope to install air conditioning at University Village during the 2019 Spring semester,” said Troy Dougherty, director of Housing and Student Living. “This will provide some relief to the families at UV during Rexburg’s hot stretches.”
The UV community center will include rooms and covered patios to provide space for events and gatherings, as well as a small exercise room.
“The purpose of the UV community center is to provide a gathering place for the young families at University Village,” Dougherty said.
The community center is projected to open in January 2020.
As these advances on campus take place, Scroll is also making changes to keep up with students and serve them as best as possible. Other news publications around the world have been ending print and increasing in online content, and Scroll is following suit. There are plenty of benefits to transitioning from printed papers to online-only content, including convenience for students.
“I definitely understand the reasoning behind the change,” said Abby Sowa, a junior studying history education. “So many people go on their phones for the news now, so it actually makes a lot of sense.”
Some students feel the changes coming to Scroll may be beneficial to the environment as well.
“I don’t know if other students grab physical copies, but I feel like the number of copies printed is too high and it’s a waste of paper,” said Carolyn Arnold, a senior studying music. “It might not make a huge impact on the environment, but every little thing we can do to help this earth counts.”
As content from Scroll for its website and mobile app continues to increase in the coming semesters, more people can be reached and more student-produced media can be shared, which has the potential to increase unity on campus.
While change can be scary, these exciting updates and upgrades are occurring with the intention to help students have an excellent experience here at BYU-I.