New student life center part of the Urbanization of the University of Utah

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Rendering of the under-construction student life center at the University of Utah. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Rendering of the under-construction student life center at the University of Utah.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Rendering of the under-construction student life center at the University of Utah. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

 

Construction of the George S. Eccles Student Life Center is nearing completion on what is becoming an increasingly urban corridor along Mario Capecchi Drive.  The new life center is adjacent to the Fort Douglas TRAX station, making it accessible to not just students living on campus but to commuting students as well.

The potentially LEED certified center will offer extensive amenities for students and staff including:

  • Gymnasiums
  • Dance Studio
  • Running Track
  • Cardiovascular, and Weight Training Rooms
  • Outdoor Adventure Center
  • Climbing and Bouldering Walls
  • Racquetball/Squash Courts
  • Indoor Pool
  • Food Services
  • Administrative Offices
  • Meeting Spaces

The student life center sits next to the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community, a 314-bed residential building for honor students.  The building was completed in 2012 and was one of the first to show that the University of Utah was serious about building a more urban campus by placing the honors housing right off the sidewalk and directly in front of a transit station.

Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community was completed in 2012.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community was completed in 2012. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

The Garf Marriott building is the first phase of what will eventually be a 1,800 bed South Campus Housing development.  The student community will be built in two more phases, on what is now a large surface parking lot adjacent to the honors residential building as outlined in the University of Utah Master Plan.

Rendering of the proposed South Campus Housing Development.  The proposed housing units are the buildings in gray.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Rendering of the proposed South Campus Housing Development. The proposed housing units are the buildings in gray. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

With four TRAX stations and multiple bus lines, the University of Utah is very accessible by mass transit.  The University has focused new growth around these transit nodes.  Other large projects under construction at the University are being built adjacent to TRAX stations. The S.J. Quinney Law School, under construction at the south end of campus is adjacent to the Stadium TRAX station.  The recently completed Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex and the year-old David Eccles School of Business are next to the University South Campus station.

A recent study by the University of Utah showed that the TRAX line to the University of Utah has reduced traffic in the area.  With most new construction on the University’s campus being built near transit nodes, mass transit is becoming a more convenient option for student commuters.  And the added housing and amenities for students are allowing more students to live on campus or spend more time on campus which reduces car traffic as less students are commuting.

Ground was broken for the life center April 2013 with construction expected to be completed December 2014.

*Full disclosure I am a 2007 University of Utah graduate.

The George S. Eccles Student Life Center as seen from the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center as seen from the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center as seen from the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center as seen from the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center as seen from the honors housing.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center as seen from the honors housing. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Student Life Center as seen from the honors housing.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Student Life Center as seen from the honors housing. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Student Life Center as seen from the HYPER plaza.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Student Life Center as seen from the HYPER plaza. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Student Life Center as seen from the HYPER plaza with the honors housing in the background.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Student Life Center as seen from the HYPER plaza with the honors housing in the background. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
About Isaac Riddle 522 Articles
Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.