ST. GEORGE- Downtown water, housing, and parking are some of the things many in St. George wish there was more of.
While the first two desires weren’t the focus of a presentation shared with city officials and road planners earlier this month, Dixie State University plans to expand its parking offering — at least in terms of concerns its students and teachers.
At a meeting of the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization, Paul Morris, DSU’s vice president of administrative affairs, shared the university’s plans for parking and general expansion over the next five years.
These plans include the demolition of two existing buildings for more parking as well as the possible construction of three multi-storey parking garages. Additional housing and academic buildings on campus are also being worked on as the number of students at the university continues to grow.
Student enrollment at Dixie State was over 12,200 at the start of the 2021-22 academic year and is expected to reach over 13,000 in the fall of 2022.
St. George News spoke with Morris about the presentation he made to Dixie DFO regarding the university’s future plans.
Extension of the campus car park
The first place the public will notice the appearance of additional parking for the university is on the north side of Atwood Plaza. Conversion work on this side of the property is expected to start around June/July and will result in additional paved parking for students and faculty.
While the grass on the north side of Atwood Plaza will be replaced with more parking spaces, the grass on the south side of the building, which is in better condition than that currently on the north side, will be preserved, Morris said.
The next parking lot expansion will involve the demolition of the Edith S. Whitehead Education Building at the corner of 100 South and 900 East in the fall. This should add approximately 150 parking spaces to the north side of the university.
The North Plaza, which is also known as the test center and the old Harmon grocery store building, is also slated for demolition in the near future and would add up to 200 more parking spaces.
“Our goal is to use surface parking for as long as possible,” Morris said, adding that university planners believe the new parking lot at Atwood Plaza and at the north end of the school will provide adequate parking for students. next three to four years. years.
As these parking lots reach capacity, the institution plans to build three on-campus parking lots. The first will be built on 700 East just south of the Human Performance Center. It will be built on part of the pre-existing car park at this location.
The second parking structure will be built in the parking lot behind the Udvar Hazy Building, with the third taking the spot where the North Plaza currently stands.
“This one’s a few years away — maybe 2026,” Morris said of North Plaza’s future parking structure. This will be the last parking structure built as the university focuses on parking structures closer to campus first, rather than a structure that will require students and others to cross the 100 South, which separates the North Main campus plaza.
Statutory funding, however, will not cover the expenses of the parking structure, which poses a challenge, Morris said. For this reason, the university has found other ways to finance the projects.
“The growth of the institution will help pay for parking structures, as will the growth of our parking passes,” he said.
Additional growth and housing on campus
The university will soon see the construction of its new general class building begin. The 118,000 square foot building was fully funded by the Legislative Assembly and will cost approximately $56 million to construct. When built, it will accommodate 51 classrooms, 93 faculty offices and accommodate over 2,200 students.
“A big thank you from us in the Legislative Assembly, especially our local legislators who helped us get this done,” Morris said.
A third Campus View Suites complex is also in the works and will replace Shiloh’s aging apartments on campus. The 140,000 square foot complex will house 500 beds over five floors and is expected to be completed in June 2025.
Regarding future expansion beyond the main downtown St. George campus, Morris said it’s unlikely at this point.
“We know we’re pretty limited in the property we could acquire around this campus,” he said.
Due to the landlocked nature of the university’s main campus, the institution has since acquired 183 acres of land in the River Road and State-Route 7 area for future expansion.
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