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Officials discuss CEU master plan

Price City Community Development Director Nick Tatton takes in CEU's five year master plan.

Sun Advocate community editor

A fine arts building to replace the ailing Geary Theater will be the next major building project at the College of Eastern Utah.

CEU officials and the public discussed the matter during a master plan presentation Tuesday at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center.

"There are some buildings on the campus that were constructed in the 1960s, including the Geary Theater and because of changes in code and failing construction they have to be replaced," said Randy Bourdero, representing MHTN architectural firm at the July 1 meeting.

According to Bourdero, the footprint for the fine arts building will consist of 49,000 square feet with parking.

Along with a fine arts center, presenters detailed plans for an addition to the technical center, an addition to the Bunnell Dmitrich Athletic Center and a renovation of the campus library.

The architect along with CEU facilities manager Sheila Burghardt stressed that, with the exception of the fine arts building which will seek funding from the 2009 Utah Legislature, there is no time frame for the completion of the new projects.

Instead, the improvements to the Price campus have been labeled as intermediate and long-term projects to be completed as funds become available.

As the meeting turned to the public comment period, attendees stressed CEU's parking problems as an ongoing concern.

The facilities director fielded the questions and stipulated that parking is always a consideration at the college but that on campus students are not taken into that equation.

As for students who drive to the facility, a further walk to classes may be the only immediate option.

"You don't want the neighbors around to campus to experience problems because of students or community members parking illegally," said Bourdero.

When it was mentioned that the Durrant property will be used for athletic field purposes, Carbon County Chamber of Commerce director Ann Evans pointed out that the map the presenters were displaying exhibited a lot of green grass.

"Will you xeriscape any of that lawn that I see?" asked Evans. "We have some water concerns in this area I would like to know what percentage of the college's landscaping will use xeriscaping."

Bourdero assured Evans that the plan had water conservation taken into consideration and that the plan was also subject to modification as water reserves fluctuated.

Price community director Nick Tatton had question for the presenters about whether the expansion plans would be ran through the city's planning and zoning commission before being approved.

"As we are a state facility, we are not required to do so, however, as a courtesy we will move these plans through the city planning and zoning," said Burghardt.

Following the presentation, CEU official Kevin Walthers commented on adjacent properties that the college may someday use as facilities.

According to Walthers, while the senior care center would be too expensive to renovate as a facility. But if the property were to come into the hands of CEU in the future, the space could serve effectively as a parking lot.

After the CEU main campus presentation, Bourdero introduced possible improvements for the college's San Juan campus.

He explained that the current administrative building is a remodeled home with a very poor cooling system that is at the forefront of renovation plans at the satellite campus.

"There are offices in that building that reach between 92 and 95 degrees during the middle of the day, needless to say it is very difficult to work in those conditions," concluded Bourdero.

CEU currently offers more than 400 classes in 60 areas of study. The college houses a Utah State University Extension program that offers limited four year degree programs.

CEU also provides a wide array of vocational training, on site and at the Western Energy Training Center.

In addition, the college opens many facilities like the library for public use.

The college is currently in the midst of a study process in conjunction with Utah State University that could result in major changes at CEU.

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