ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College of Utah will officially break ground on its new Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building with a special ceremony on Monday, March 21, at 11 a.m., at the construction site at the south end of the Encampment Mall in the heart of DSC’s campus. The event is free and open to the public to attend.
Due to construction road closures, visitor parking for the event can be found in the Burns Arena north parking lot just off of 700 East and 300 South, or at the Cooper Diamonds lot on 800 East and 400 South. For more information on the ground breaking, please call DSC Public Relations Director Steve Johnson at 652-7544.
Jacobsen Construction, which was awarded the bid, has already begun preliminary work on the new building site, which will be located south of the Gardner Student Center on the Encampment Mall. Construction for the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building is scheduled to be completed in June of 2012.
Considered a top priority by DSC administrators and the Utah State Board of Regents, and rated fourth-overall by the Utah State Building Board, the 170,000 square foot, five-story Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building (HCC) is the keystone of Dixie’s overall campus master plan to accommodate the growth that has already begun to transform the College. The Utah State Legislature approved $35 million in funding last year, which was on top of $3 million in funding in 2009 devoted to the design and planning for the proposed $48 million building. In addition, DSC received a $10 million anonymous donation for the construction of the building in 2008, which is the largest private donation DSC has ever received.
“The Holland Centennial Commons Building is going to have a huge impact on our campus, because this building will provide the best possible opportunity for our students to get an education,” DSC President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld said. “This building will give our students the kind of student support services they need, but more importantly, it will be a state-of-the-art digital learning center and library that will signal that Dixie has the kind of four-year quality education that any young person would be pleased to ascribe to.
“This would not have happened without the support of our Regents, the State Building Board and our state legislature, especially [then Utah House Speaker] David Clark and our Washington County delegation,” President Nadauld added. “We also express our thanks for the support of Governor [Gary] Herbert, we know his help has been important and is greatly appreciated.”
According to Stan Plewe, DSC Vice President of Administrative Services, the HCC Building will embody and symbolize Dixie State’s transition from a two-year to a four-year college and the seriousness of the academic mission the transition entailed. Plewe added that when completed, the HCC Building will serve as the intellectual and academic hub of Dixie State, while its central location on the campus’ historic Encampment Mall will instantly confer iconic status on the building.
“This is the culmination of years of dreaming, planning and hard work on the part of many people,” Plewe said. “We are so overjoyed to realize that what has been a big dream will now become a reality for our students, faculty, staff, and the Washington County community.”
When completed, HCC Building will become the new home of DSC’s library and English Department. Plewe added that the building will also support DSC’s mission to provide a student-centered learning environment by placing all the services students will need in one location, including registration, financial aid, advising and counseling, among other resources.
“The Holland Centennial Commons will be a ‘student success center’ offering all the resources and services students need to ensure their success at Dixie State College,” said Plewe. “Bringing all these functions and more under one roof will be instrumental in enriching and enlivening campus life.”
Plewe also noted that the HCC building will provide services that all competitive institutions of higher education must have, including flexible, well-equipped classrooms to facilitate innovate teaching; a central data center to serve the information technology needs of the campus; and a variety of areas for group and individual study suited to current computer-based learning.
The building’s namesake, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a 1961 graduate of Dixie College, is a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Dixie State College formally announced plans for the HCC Building in October of 2008, during the College’s Centennial Celebration Grand Gala concert. As part of the event, Elder Holland expressed his gratitude for the honor in a taped video message.
“I am thrilled with the growth and destiny of Dixie State,” Holland said in the message. “A centennial commons building is a wonderfully fitting addition to a school that has always featured its students and has always put them first.”
Holland went on to say that the proposed building is intended to acknowledge the many students who have come and gone at Dixie over the years, and those who will come in the future.
“There are infinitely more qualified and distinguished graduates who could, and should, be honored in connection with such a building,” Holland said humbly. “But if my name can, in any way, bring back the memory of so many others who also loved Dixie College, and who also went to school there, and still long to go back to those nostalgic days, then I’m more than happy – humble, but very happy – to lend my name to such a cause.”