Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business is about to get roomier.
The university broke ground on its upcoming Scott C. Keller Building Monday afternoon in a ceremony heralded as a momentous day for the growing institution.
“This is historic because we are building a building that will be a gamechanger for this university,” UVU President Astrid Tuminez said during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Tuminez and Keller hopped onto backhoes to dig up the first bits of land for the ceremony that was attended by more than 600 people.
It’s the newest building to break ground since the university officially opened a new performing arts center earlier this year.
The $75 million building is named after Keller, the president and CEO of Keller Investment Properties, after Keller and his wife donated $10 million to the project.
Keller owns Wolverine Crossing, a nearby student housing complex that opened when the university had 26,000 students. It now has more than 40,000. Five of his children have attended the university.
Keller attended the groundbreaking Monday wearing a custom green suit made for the occasion.
“We have been fond of everything UVU,” Keller said.
Gov. Gary Herbert has watched that growth over the last few decades. He grew up a few blocks from UVU and used to visit the site to catch lizards.
“I remember when there was nothing here,” Herbert said during the ceremony.
He said UVU is now the most enthusiastic college campus in the state. Herbert said the new business building is an example of the private sector giving back in order to train the workforce.
The new building will be on the south end of campus. When finished, it will be 205,000 square feet and house 30 classrooms and 205 offices. It’s anticipated that between 12,000 and 14,000 students will utilize the business building at a time. The building is also expected to be energy efficient, will include color and will have writable walls.