Last week, the Utah State Legislature approved funding to much-needed upgrades for the Weber State Social Science Building.
For the remodel, the legislature approved $14 million for the 2017–18 fiscal year with another $15.9 million coming the following year.
WSU originally proposed the renovation project for the Social Science Building in 2015, but this newly-received funding came sooner than expected.
“This was actually a fairly short time frame to get a building funded,” said Vice President for University Advancement Brad Mortensen. “Because we received authorization to do design in the 2016 session, we are able to proceed with construction immediately. In other words, waiting until 2017 did not slow down the construction of the building as compared to being funded in the 2016 session because we received the authorization to get the design in place.”
Remodeling is planned to begin following spring semester, and a groundbreaking ceremony will be held on May 9 to kick off the renovation project. After spring semester wraps up, faculty and staff will relocate their classes to the Science Laboratory building.
The planned upgrades for the Social Science Building will improve the experience of both students and faculty who study and work within its walls.
“Not only will the building be safer structurally and more comfortable with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, but also the learning environments will be greatly improved,” Mortensen said. “The classrooms will be equipped with the best learning technology. Wayfinding and intuitive design will also be improved throughout the building.”
This funding is an addition to a monetary gift recently given to WSU to improve the Social Science Building. John E. Lindquist, president of Lindquist Mortuaries and Great Western Insurance, gave $5 million to WSU in Feb. 2016 to help renovate the building.
“Weber State has always been an important part of the Ogden community,” Lindquist said to Director of Public Relations Allison Hess in a Weber State press release. “As one succeeds, so does the other. A state-of-the-art instructional building will help with the overall mission of the university, and I am proud to be part of the progress.”
Due to Lindquist’s generosity, Weber State plans on calling the renovated building Lindquist Hall.
Several students feel that this renovation is long overdue and the current facilities in the Social Science building are not up to campus standards.
“From the looks of it, it’s one of the oldest buildings on campus. It’s not appealing, inside or out,” said student Alisha Neville, who had psychology and world geography classes in the Social Science Building. “Since there are a variety of general education classes within this building, remodeling would allow for a much less distracting environment, from running out of breath from the endless stairs to the lack of air conditioner and heater.”
Other departments within the building, such as the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service, will be given special attention for building design, so students will be able to more easily utilize the location.
The renovation groundbreaking will take place on May 9 at 3 p.m.