FEATURE — A small junior college acquired 32 acres of alkali-heavy soil east of St. George 64 years ago. That institution has evolved into Dixie State University and now sits on a 100-acre campus that boasts beautiful buildings, neatly manicured landscapes, and an energetic student body. While the university has experienced a great deal of change in those 64 years, the institution is not content to let growth solely be part of its history.
In fact, Dixie State is planning for continued expansion — an important plan, considering that DSU has experienced a 60 percent increase in enrollment in the past five years and now has a student population that is nearly 9,000 strong.
To offer students the best education under the sun, DSU is taking steps toward adding new facilities to its campus. As part of this effort, crews are scheduled to break ground by the end of the year on the Burns Arena north office addition, Vice President of Administrative Services Paul Morris said. Slated for completion in August 2015, the two-story addition to the university’s basketball complex will house approximately 70 faculty and staff offices. The exterior of the entire building will be completed during the initial phase of construction, but the interior, which will be divided into four quadrants, will be only 25 percent complete as the university heads into the 2015-2016 academic year.
Just a short walk from the Burns Arena, the currently open space north of Hansen Stadium will become the home of the Physical Education and Student Wellness Center. The proposed $29 million facility will include specialized classrooms, clinic spaces, gymnasiums, and physical education labs needed to support future academic programs in health and human performance. The program accompanying this facility will offer tracks in education, kinesiology/exercise science, and health promotion and wellness.
Additionally, Dixie Regional Medical Center has agreed to extend and expand its sports medicine partnership with the university in conjunction with the completion of the Wellness Center.
To accommodate all the students eager to take advantage of Dixie State’s expanding academic offerings, the university has formed a task force to look into the future of on-campus student housing.
“New student housing is also a top priority,” Morris said. “We anticipate a new student housing facility located just west of the Nisson Towers that will provide a residential campus experience for an additional 350 to 400 students.”
The facility will likely feature three and four-bedroom suites that will each accommodate six and eight students, respectively. Additionally, the complex will foster student-life experiences for residents, possibly offering a fitness center, video and media room, activity center and study rooms.
The improvements to campus don’t end there. Once these buildings are completed, Vice President of Development Brad Last said, renovating the Science Building will likely be the next project the university will undertake.
In all these projects, the university’s goal is to ensure it has the resources and facilities necessary to engage students in activities that encourage educational and cultural experiences while promoting university retention, persistence to graduation, and preparation for employment.
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Written by Jyl Hall for St. George Health & Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Jyl Hall is a public relations/publications coordinator at Dixie State University. For more information about DSU, contact her at 435-652-7547 or by email.
Email: [email protected]
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