BYU Makes Changes to Campus

  • 2 November 2015

With two new roundabouts in the past year and the removal of a portion of road on Campus Drive, the BYU campus is more “pedestrian friendly” for the students living on or close to campus.

Article Highlights

  • Physical changes have been made to the BYU campus.
  • Changes include two new roundabouts and the removal of a portion of road on Campus Drive.
  • The final installment of Heritage Halls is underway, finishing the last of the four original Heritage Halls to be rebuilt.
  • The Marriott Center added larger screens and more comfortable seating.

“We are constantly reviewing the campus and trying to increase not just the safety for our students but also the experience of our faculty and the facilities needed to give our students a wonderful education.” —Todd Hollingshead, media relations manager for BYU Communications

Whether it is the new large screens in the Marriott Center or the removal of some of the roads and buildings around campus, visitors to the Brigham Young University campus in recent months have noticed changes—large and small—both inside buildings and around the grounds.

“We are constantly reviewing the campus and trying to increase not just the safety for our students but also the experience of our faculty and the facilities needed to give our students a wonderful education,” Todd Hollingshead, media relations manager for BYU Communications, said.

With two new roundabouts in the past year and the removal of a portion of road on Campus Drive, the campus is more “pedestrian friendly” for the students living on or close to campus.

“For students and for faculty and visitors on campus, one of the most visible differences is Campus Drive and the changes there,” said Brother Hollingshead. “This year we did work on Campus Drive and so the north end of Campus Drive no longer is a through street past Heritage Halls.”

Earlier alterations include a roundabout near the east entrance of the Wilkinson Student Center, and with the changes to Campus Drive there is now a green space—rather than a road—between the law school and the rest of campus.

“The overall reason for the work is just to increase the safety for pedestrians on campus and to make our campus a more pedestrian-friendly place,” Brother Hollingshead said. “We’ve got all of that housing—Heritage Halls—up to the northeast. Now instead of having that road be a through street that is difficult for the students to cross, they can ... safely enter the main portion of campus.”

The final installment of Heritage Halls is underway, finishing the last of the four original Heritage Halls to be rebuilt. The entire project—completed over the past few years—took an area that housed 24 buildings and replaced them with 14 larger buildings. One of the final buildings to be completed is a central building that will house administrative offices and multipurpose space.

The Marriott Center—which is now more than 40 years old—received a major overhaul during the summer months, adding larger screens and more comfortable seating.

“[The chairs] are a little softer and a little bigger, and they are blue,” Brother Hollingshead said. “We love the blue—it looks so good. They are certainly more comfortable than the old chairs.”

Seats in the lower bowl have been altered, adding more legroom and a softer seat. Because the arena is used for more than just sporting events, students, visitors, and sports fans alike will enjoy the renovations during devotionals and basketball games.

Also new to the Marriott Center are four new LED video boards that are 24 feet wide by 18 feet high. Two smaller screens have been placed underneath the larger boards so patrons sitting on the floor or the lower bowl can see what is on the screen. The two smaller screens are 13 feet wide and 7 and a half feet high.

“That is a nice addition and will certainly be visible for visitors to campus,” Brother Hollingshead said. Other additions to the Marriott Center include digital signs above many of the portals to the arena, and work has begun for the Marriott Center Annex—a basketball practice facility announced in February and expected to be finished in fall 2016.

With the Life Sciences Building completed in the fall of 2014, the College of Life Sciences made its new home on the south side of campus. At the end of May, demolition to the college’s former home—the Widtsoe Building (named after John A. Widtsoe) made room for an open area on campus.

“It will be a quad area—an open area with grass,” Brother Hollingshead said.

Near Heritage Halls on the east edge of campus are two buildings that have been constructed in the past year. Because of renovations at the missionary training center near the campus, two BYU buildings were moved to an area east of the campus. A new laundry facility—open to the public—and maintenance building have been added to the east part of campus.

“Campus is very much a living creature in some ways,” Brother Hollingshead said. “It is constantly evolving and changing.”