By Peter Gardner
In recent years, hard hats, construction workers, and bulldozers have been as common on BYU campus as backpacks, calculators, and students. To the relief of the campus community, several construction projects have recently been completed. Others are making significant progress.
The new Student Health Center is finished and has been fully functional since June. With over 36,000 square feet, the new center doubles the size of its predecessor, the 43-year-old McDonald Health Center. According to Val H. Christensen, administrative director of the Student Health Center, “Students will benefit from shorter waiting times, comfortable waiting areas, improved examination areas, greater privacy, excellent medical technology, and ample parking.” The new center is located adjacent to Wymount Terrace, making it easily accessible to campus, married housing, and the MTC. Based on current volume, the center will handle at least 90,000 patient visits per year, and 20 percent of the patients are MTC missionaries.
The newly finished Wyview Park (1999 N. University Ave.) replaces the married-student trailer park. “The old trailers at Wyview were a maintenance nightmare,” says Warren J. Jones, manager of special projects. The 150 trailers were replaced by 33 buildings with 426 married-student apartments, a meetinghouse, a laundromat, a convenience store, and other facilities. Each unit has two or three bedrooms, is wired for campus Internet access, and has air conditioning.
The Wilkinson Center renovation is also complete. Started in November 1995, construction gave the 30-year-old student center a modern look, updated systems, and additional space for student auxiliaries such as Student Life, Employment Services, and the Counseling and Development Center. “We wanted to integrate these in one building so all the student functions would be there for students,” says Jones.
Although work on the Wilkinson Center was finished in October, the BYU Bookstore is still being remodeled and will be finished in April 1999.
The most visible construction project on campus is also making progress. The massive underground addition to the Harold B. Lee Library is on track to be in use by fall semester 1999. “We added 235,000 square feet to our existing library,” says Jones. “The library now has more than 600,000 square feet.” The existing library will also be remodeled and should be fully functional by February 2000. The underground expansion has disrupted student traffic across campus for two years, but a diagonal sidewalk from the HFAC to the JKHB has recently been completed.
Work continues on the renovation of Helaman Halls, the longest-running construction project on campus. Four of the eight residence halls have been remodeled since the project began in 1993.
Another current construction project is a joint-use facility that occupies a corner of the large parking lot west of Cougar Stadium. The new building will be a married-student stake center and home for the English Language Center. It will house two chapels, a cultural hall, stake offices, a Spanish library, and rooms for English as a second language classes. The project should be finished by July 1999.