20130829ribbon cutting-testing center (Tyler Brown)-6
(Photo by: Tyler Brown) President Charles Wight and Waldo the Wildcat cut Davis’ D3 ceremonial ribbon.

Aug. 29 marked the official opening of Weber State University’s newest addition, the Davis campus’ D3. Guest speakers created an evening filled with enthusiasm, accomplishment, and Wildcat pride.

The speakers were Lt. Gov. Greg Bell; Jim Smith, Davis Chamber of Commerce president and CEO; Sue Johnson, president/CEO of Futura Industries and chair for the Northern Utah Academy of Math, Engineering and Science; WSU President Charles Wight, and David Wilson, WSU student body president.

“This is very exciting. It has taken a lot of people working together to get to this point, and it is a spectacular building,” Wight said. “We are so pleased for the students . . . We have great community members with Hill Air Force Base and the city; it’s just wonderful.”

D3 puts WSU’s Davis campus one step closer to its master plan of 10-plus buildings, which will include a student union building, library, garden for the botany program, solar panel field, and a multitude of major and minor opportunities.

“This building has been in progress for three years now, so it’s been really exciting to see the unity in the school and everybody come together to make this building happen,” said Brady Harris, student senate president. “The benefits for students are going to be wonderful.”

As Wight and Waldo the Wildcat cut the ceremonial ribbon with gigantic scissors, the hockey team sprayed the crowed with purple and white confetti, and then Waldo performed gymnastic moves to entertain the children up front.

“What an amazing experience for Weber to grow,” Wilson said. “We’re just extending our reach; it’s awesome. For someone who didn’t sign up for Davis classes, I’m very, very jealous right now.”

An array of WSU faculty and students assisted in answering questions about the new building and taking people on tours. NUAMES has been educating its students in mobile units on the west corner of campus, but will now occupy one floor of D3 during the day. Many NUAMES students walked around their new facilities with big eyes, trying to take everything in.

“I think it’s awesome,” said NUAMES sophomore Tucker Banz. “You are more spread out, you don’t have to worry about seeing people you don’t want to see, and I like the style of the building, it’s pretty cool, and we have lots of room.

Parson Construction has donated a lot of money to the construction management technology program.

“We’re thrilled to see the program move here to Davis,” said Scott Parson, president of Parson Construction. “It’s going to be a lot more convenient for many of our students, with world-class working space, labs, and just an awesome environment for our students to learn cutting-edge things that are growing and building the future.”

The CMT program has advanced tremendously, and Parson said WSU has one of the few programs in the country where students can earn a major, minor or even an associate degree in it.

“We have tried to tailor the program to the needs of students, and the university’s been great (at) teaching what the students need to learn to succeed,” he said.

Wight said the majority of WSU students actually live in Davis County, with Weber County not far behind, but Davis and Weber make up 70 percent of the WSU community. Now that D3 has opened, students in Davis County have more opportunities to take advantage of being students without traveling to Ogden. D3 includes a new fitness facility, which has stationary bikes, treadmills and lateral machines, and with the two new studios, students can look on Davis’ website to find out when yoga and spin classes will be available.

An area all students might want to know about is the new testing center. Last year, the Davis campus gave 61,000 tests in D2, and now the testing center has more than doubled in size. Leslie Loeffel, Davis Learning Center director, said the center even has a bookmark for students to keep handy so they know times the testing center is open and how to be prepared for testing. Davis went from 40 computers and 10 paper testing spaces to more than 100 testing stations, five check-in/check-out stations, lockers to secure belongings and plenty of quiet study areas with large windows for plenty of Vitamin D. There are also more than 1,000 parking spots on the Davis campus now.

The Davis campus eventually plans to serve more than 15,000 students and continue to grow exponentially. Detailing the features and benefits the Davis campus now provides for WSU students and faculty, Wight asked everyone if they noticed one of the building’s architectural features, which he finds very symbolic: the front doors.

“These doors are the entrances to a better education and thus to better lives,” he said. “They’re doorways to dreams. This building helps to ensure that the student’s door to education is always open.”

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