|Monday, March 21st, 2011
Dixie State College of Utah officially broke ground on its new Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building in a special ceremony held Monday morning. Nearly 500 people attended the ceremony, including Elder Holland and his wife Patricia, and DSC students, faculty and staff. In addition, members of southern Utah's state legislative contingent and local elected officials, along with representatives from Jacobsen Construction, VCBO Architecture and Sasaki Associates, and benefactors and friends of DSC were in attendance.
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.
"To receive an honor in and from a community I love with all my heart is an inexpressible gift," Elder Holland said. "Today [Dixie State] is experiencing unprecedented growth because of student demand, student growth, student success. In that sense, I am honored to let my name stand in for the hundreds, the thousands, and tens of thousands of young men and women who have come here without a cent in their pocket, but with stars in their eyes and dreams in their hearts.
"Dixie has fulfilled those dreams for legions of students for 100 years," Holland added. "I love her, I grew up with her. I love the century of service she has given. I can only hope Dixie will shape in some small way the students who will study here in the years ahead the way it had shaped mine in such unique and special and permanent ways for all of my personal past."
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 on the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building is scheduled to be completed in late May of 2012.
"This structure will be the academic heart and soul of this institution," DSC President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld said. "It will be the hub from which all other activities will emanate and will provide the anchor to serve 12-15 thousands students who will be here in the next four to five years. We are growing so fast that this building had to come to our rescue in terms of our growth.
"From this building, we will be known as not just a college, but as a university," President Nadauld added. "That designation will be well deserved because this building will anchor that whole university notion as we go forward."
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 1963 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.
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