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Coming Into Focus

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It’s been six months since the grass-filled quad on 400 north and 500 east was torn up to make way for the $20 million Central Instruction Building. The metal beams and cement walls of the two-story building are in place as its exterior form takes shape.

Construction on the CIB is moving fast. A large portion of the steel frame for the building’s second story is in place. With the view between the G.J. Reeves Building and the Geary Theatre changing daily, the full picture of what the CIB will look like is coming into focus.

Students can look forward to classes in the CIB starting fall 2015. The building is on schedule to be completed by June 26, 2015, with occupancy beginning in July.

Eric Mantz, associate vice chancellor of business services, says a priority at this stage is value engineering: taking steps to ensure the building is the highest quality while remaining cost effective.

“We are trying to value engineer without losing any quality – visible quality or structural quality,” Mantz said. “We are offsetting some of the costs by looking at everything, asking if it is needed most right now, and taking areas that can be delayed or will not have an impact on the building necessarily.”

One of the steps planned to keep the building cost effective is to prepare every room for distance education equipment. When funds become available, the equipment will be easy to install.

“Technology ages quickly and if we put in the technology right away, we may not be using it to its full extent,” Mantz said.

With equipment being added as needed, students will have access to the most up-to-date technology.

Very few changes to the initial building plans have been made.

“We have really worked hard to make sure nothing is changed,” Mantz said.

Five areas of study will move from their current locations into the CIB. Theater will have full use of the new black box theatre going into the west side of the building. Communications courses, plus journalism and the college’s newspaper, will be taught in the CIB, along with music, criminal justice and two and three-dimensional art.

Once these programs have been moved to the CIB, the old student activity building and music building will be demolished. A beautiful, grassy quad will open up the center of campus while pathways on each side of the CIB will welcome all to the new building.

Preparations are being made to move each program and Mantz said he is happy with the progress.

“We haven’t had any setbacks,” he said. “The construction is on schedule and it is all going according to plan.”

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-Mary Dalrymple

From Fall 2014 issue of Utah State University Eastern Magazine