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:
- 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.
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.
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.