Landmark Student Life Center Opens at the University of Utah
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center is located on the east side of the University of Utah campus, near the Legacy Bridge and Fort Douglas TRAX stop. (Photo by Dave Titensor)
The long-awaited George S. Eccles Student Life Center opened its doors in January. The 183,000-square-foot, $50.5 million building houses two gymnasiums, a four-story climbing wall, indoor and outdoor pools, large areas for cardio and weight training, and more.
“We have been preparing for this facility for many years, and I am thrilled that students will have such an extraordinary place to engage in their college experience, build friendships, and develop skills they will use for the rest of their lives,” says Barbara Snyder, the U’s vice president for student affairs.
This four-story climbing wall is one of the highlights in the 183,000-square-foot building. (Photo by Jeff Bagley)
In addition to athletic and recreational features, the building houses a café, a University Credit Union branch, and social space, as well as offices of the Center for Student Wellness, Outdoor Adventures Program, and Campus Recreation Services. The facility is now the campus hub for fitness training, intramural sports, and outdoor recreation. The center also serves as the premier location for students, faculty, and staff to gather and develop lifelong healthy habits.
A dedication for the new center was held February 26, featuring Snyder and U President David W. Pershing, as well as Justin Spangler, president of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, and Neela Pack HBS’13, a former ASUU president who helped spur the project. Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and chief executive officer of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, also spoke at the dedication.
The landmark facility was made possible through financial support from a number of sources, including the generous lead naming gift from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, along with major gifts from Kem BA’67 JD’70 and Carolyn Gardner BS’69 and the University Credit Union. Two-thirds of the building is funded by a new $60-per-semester student fee.
The center features a 50-meter indoor pool, indoor and outdoor leisure pools, and an indoor hot tub and spa. (Photo by Jeff Bagley)
To give students the best access to the facility as possible, it will serve only University students, as well as faculty and staff members who purchase a membership for $275 per year. All for-credit physical education classes continue to be held in the HPER building, fields, and various off-campus locations, and standalone fitness classes are also available in those locations for both Alumni Association members and University faculty and staff.
Located just west of the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge and adjacent to the Fort Douglas TRAX stop, the Student Life Center helps connect student life with academic life and create a more engaged campus community.
Web Exclusive Photo Gallery
University of Utah Rated Tops for Nontraditional Students
The University of Utah has been ranked No. 2 by BestColleges.com in its most recent list of the top 50 colleges nationwide for students ages 25 and older. In its detailed review of the school, BestColleges.com noted the U’s flexible hybrid as well as solely online course offerings that cater to a diverse demographic. The U was ranked second in the nation, after the University of Texas at Dallas. Last year, 32 percent of the undergraduates at the University of Utah were ages 25 or older, and that number has been steady for more than 10 years. Nationally, adult students accounted for 38 percent of all undergrads in the country in 2011, a 41 percent increase from 2000. Common reasons that students have postponed college include military service, marriage and family responsibilities, and financial needs.
Continuum Wins Western Regional Award
Continuum, the magazine of the University of Utah, was honored in January with a regional award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Kim M. Horiuchi, an associate editor for the magazine, received a bronze award for best periodical staff writing. Horiuchi was recognized for several articles published in 2013 and 2014, including Continuum’s winter 2013 cover story on the U’s global endeavors, as well as the fall 2014 cover story on how the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex is fostering innovations in teaching kids in all subjects. The award was presented by CASE’s District VII, which represents higher education professionals and institutions in Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, and Utah.
University of Utah Football Coach Signs New Four-Year Contract
Kyle Whittingham, the University of Utah’s head football coach, signed a new four-year contract with the U this past January. Whittingham will receive $2.6 million in 2015, with an automatic $100,000 increase each year through 2018. “We are excited to come to terms on a contract extension for Coach Whitt, and under his leadership, we’re looking forward to a successful football season next fall and in the years to come,” says U Athletics Director Chris Hill MEd’74 PhD’82. Whittingham in February also hired new offensive and defensive coordinators and a new defensive assistant, and made four staff promotions. Dennis Erickson was promoted to assistant head coach, and Aaron Roderick and Jim Harding were named co-offensive coordinators. Former NFL coach John Pease BS’70 returned to the Utah staff as the defensive coordinator, and Justin Ena was hired to coach the linebackers. Morgan Scalley BA’04 MBA’07 will serve as the special teams’ coordinator in addition to coaching the safeties.
University of Utah Student Video Game Wins Top International Award
Student video game developers from the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) video game program have won Best Student Game in the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge in Orlando, Florida. The award was announced in December for their two-player action game Cyber Heist
. The PC game is an adventure where two players who portray college students try to infiltrate the Department of Education in the year 2114 to erase their student debt from the agency’s computers. It took a team of 13 EAE graduate students a year and a half to create Cyber Heist
, says the game’s lead designer, Jake Muehle BS’12 MS’14, who graduated last May with a master’s degree in Entertainment Arts & Engineering. Cyber Heist
was one of 18 finalists worldwide competing for awards in the contest. In addition to winning Best Student Game, the team of U students also received $30,000. Download the Cyber Heist
. Read a previous Continuum
feature on the EAE program here