Dixie State president hails groundbreaking for student housing a ‘momentum shift’

ST. GEORGE — A large crowd gathered to support Dixie State University’s groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning, marking the advent of a new student housing project, the first Dixie State has seen in almost 50 years.

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Artist rendering of the new campus housing to be built at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Aug. 28, 2015 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

“Today we broke ground on the new student housing, Campus View Suites, here at Dixie University …,” Student Body President Matt Devore said. “I cannot be more excited for this university and the changes we are about to make.”

The new housing will be located west of the existing Nisson Towers, which were constructed in 1968 and, until now, were the newest student housing facilities on campus.

With an on-campus housing shortage looming for years to come if university enrollment grows, the project is a welcome one. It will add 350 new beds to campus housing and is slated to be ready for occupancy August 2016.

“We’ve had rapid student growth and that means a lot because we can accommodate more students,” Dixie State University President Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams said. “We are the regional campus for Southern Utah, so we’re open access – we let as many students in, we give them a chance for a college education – so it means that we have 350 more students that can come here …. I’m just thrilled, it’s a momentum shift for our university ….”

Officials and invited guests ceremonially break ground for the new Campus View Suites housing project at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Aug. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News
Officials and invited guests ceremonially break ground for the new Campus View Suites housing project at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Aug. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

The new building will feature suites that will accommodate six students each, the university’s news release said. The complex will offer each student the option to share a bedroom with another student or have one to him or herself. Each suite will include a comfortable living room space, larger kitchenette and eating space and bathroom with sinks separate from shower and toilet rooms to help alleviate congestion during heavy usage times.

The complex will include a large full kitchen, computer area and laundry room on each floor, providing opportunities for students to build social connections and engage academically with their peers, the release said. The facility will also feature a multipurpose room, three activity/lounge areas, an exercise room and a conference room.

Method Studio Architects and Layton Construction are working together to design and build the new complex, the university’s release said.

At the ceremony, Joe Smith, the lead designer with Method Studio Architects for the project, told the crowd the design is a result of great teamwork. 

“This really and truly was a collaborative effort. It has been a successful process and an enjoyable one,” Smith said to the crowd. “Your enthusiasm was contagious and very inspiring to the design team.”

Now that the design is done, the architecture firm is passing the baton to Layton Construction, Smith said.

Paul Morris, vice president of administrative services for Dixie State, closed the program by encouraging attendees to imagine the future of Dixie State University and the contributions Campus View Suites will bring to campus’ vitality.

“We’re dreamers,” Morris said. “We love to be dreamers.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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