REXBURG — Students and administrators at Brigham Young University-Idaho gathered Thursday morning for the dedication of three new buildings on campus.
One of the buildings is the Engineering Technology Building at 525 South Center Street. The 34,272-square-foot building, which once housed stores and reception, university press, surplus and mail services, underwent an extensive renovation to accommodate construction management, civil engineering and engineering students. automotive engineering.
Prior to the grand opening, Greg Roach, the Dean of the Department of Physical Sciences and Engineering, acknowledged the contributions of many people over the years whose efforts created a need for this updated building.
“Students in these programs benefit from the foundation that was put in place many years ago during Ricks College Days,” Roach told those in attendance.
Roach said he sees “businesses and industries that will grow and prosper from the talents, skills and leadership qualities” students will obtain in ETC.
The ETC was formerly known as the Auxiliary Services Building and opened in 1974.
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Other buildings that were dedicated on Thursday included the Visual Arts Studio, which stands where the Kirkham Building once stood east of 3rd South. The University Village Community Center at 111 West 7th South opened in 2020.
The 8,800 square foot visual arts studio began operations in the spring of 2021 after two years of construction. It is designed to function as a student gallery and includes classrooms and other spaces to store materials and art projects.
“The building’s north-facing facade is made entirely of glass, making it easy for passers-by to see the studio lobby,” a press release from BYU-Idaho reads.
The Kirkham building was demolished in 2019 after 60 years of operation. At the dedication ceremony, university president Henry J. Eyring spoke fondly of his namesake, Oscar A. Kirkham, who taught music at Ricks College from 1903 to 1906 and later served in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. .
Eyring also shared his memories of seeing “the best entertainment” inside the Kirkham building’s auditorium.
“In the 1970s, my family lived in Rexburg for seven years. I enjoyed the high quality Broadway musicals and other plays, as well as symphonic and choral performances. Dance was portrayed in the same way,” Eyring recalls.
The Kirkham building became a shelter during the Teton Dam flood in 1976 and Eyring said he was caught entering the building as a child.
“Several young friends…decided to buy cap guns from our Main Street drug store. Finding the Kirkham Auditorium doors unlocked and the lights out, we enjoyed a royal shootout. The rowdiness caught the attention of a campus official. He politely, but firmly, showed us the door,” Eyring said.
Eyring’s father, Henry B. Eyring, who currently serves in the First Presidency, reminded him to respect the buildings on campus.
Although the Kirkham building no longer stands, Eyring says the new visual arts studio is a tribute to the Kirkham building’s artistic and educational heritage.
“What we have now in the new Visual Arts Building is a perfect fit for our students to develop their talents and share creative beauty with others,” he said.
The University Village Community Center is a gathering place for students and their families. 6,227 square feet of indoor space includes a reception area, office, conference room, lounge area, kitchen, exercise and music room, playground, and children’s playroom .
The building also has a 3,008 square foot patio outside.
Kyle Williams, general manager of university operations, thanked architect, Chad Aldridge, for designing the community center.
“(We) thank him for his dedicated service to the university,” Williams said. “We thank the general contractors, Headwater Construction, and their team of subcontractors for executing the design and sharing their expertise with the university and the students. We are grateful to the Church for providing funds to support our families.