Utah State Legislature funds DSU’s Science, Engineering & Technology building

Acknowledging Dixie State University’s need for more academic buildings to accommodate its growing student body, the Utah State Legislature appropriated $50 million toward a new Science, Engineering & Technology building and $4.4 million to complete the Human Performance Center.

“All of us here at Dixie State University are beyond appreciative of the legislators’ support,” Dixie State President Richard B. Williams said. “The Science, Engineering & Technology building will have a tremendous benefit on the entire Southern Utah region as we continue to make significant strides in increasing academic offerings in these growing fields and prepare students to meet the area’s workforce needs.”

The funding for the SET building will enable the university to expand its academic offerings in engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, physiology and genetic counseling. Graduates in these programs will go on to fill regional healthcare and technology workforce shortages. Additionally, the facility will allow Dixie State to create pipeline programs with Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah and local tech industry partners. 

The university’s Science Department is currently situated in a building that was constructed for a student population of 350 in 1963. Comparatively, the SET will support modern science equipment and meet the needs of Dixie State’s expanding student body. For example, enrollment in chemistry, anatomy and physiology is up 20 percent this year, requiring anatomy labs to be held 16 hours a day and on weekends. 

The SET building will be located on Dixie State’s main campus, east of the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center, off of 100 South.

“This state-of-the-art building will help the university work toward our strategic goal of expanding academic offerings,” Williams said. “Not only will the facility be a great addition to the campus landscape, it also will enable Dixie State University to educate and train more students in the fields of science, engineering and technology, preparing them to be valuable members of the Southern Utah workforce.”

Beyond the SET building, the Legislature committed $4.4 million to completing the Human Performance Center, a 155,000-square-foot academic, fitness and recreational facility that is set to open this fall. In addition to housing the specialized classrooms and labs DSU needs to offer health and human performance programs, the facility will be home to the University’s Campus Recreation and Intramural programs and include a student fitness center, an open-air rooftop with recreational space, and a 50-meter Olympic-sized swimming pool with deck and spectator space.

Both buildings will meet the needs of Dixie State’s growing student body. In fact, student enrollment has grown by 16 percent to nearly 10,000 students in the last three years alone and by more than 54 percent in the last decade. Additionally, Dixie State offers 3 master’s degrees, 44 bachelor’s degrees, 12 associate degrees, 37 minors and 65 emphases. Dixie State offered just two bachelor’s degrees in 1999, representing a 2,100 percent growth in baccalaureate degrees alone in just two decades.

“Dixie State University is continuing to grow and achieve our strategic goals that are assisting us in the transition from university status to university stature,” Williams said. “The addition of the Science, Engineering & Technology building and demonstrated support from the Utah State Legislature significantly help with this process and make Trailblazer Nation an even better place to live and go to school.”