Orientation: WSU campuses continue to expand

satellitecampusesRGBThis semester, Weber State University’s Davis campus will begin offering classes and services in its newest building. The expansion will include a new space for Davis Student Involvement and Leadership, a larger fitness complex, food service and a larger event space.

The building has been in the works since March 2011, when Gov. Gary Herbert signed legislation that established funding for the expansion. In November of that year, a groundbreaking ceremony took place, after which construction for the building began.

Jennifer Grandi, the assistant dean of students at WSU Davis, said she is particularly excited about the new event space after having worked with the programming board for seven years.

“When we had a big event, we had a large classroom, and we were confined to classroom seating,” Grandi said. “Now this new event space is about the size of one of the ballrooms in the Shepherd Union, so we will be able to have entertainment, music acts, dances, things like that.”

Joshua Mullins, a student on Davis’ programming board, said he is excited for the new programming possibilities that will be available because of the expansion.

“With the new building, we’re able to do events that weren’t possible before,” Mullins said. “We’re now able to accommodate a larger number of people.”

The physical expansion of the campus will also allow an expansion of the academic programs available at WSU Davis. Academic programs that will now be available include construction management and interior design. The nursing program will also have a facility in the new building.

The Davis campus currently plays host to a broad range of student services, including a bookstore, library, testing center, computer lab, health center, counseling, enrollment services and a variety of workshops.

“Davis is virtually a miniature version of Ogden campus, only in Davis County,” Mullins said. “We pretty much offer everything the main campus does.”

The Davis campus is located in Layton near the freeway and Hill Air Force Base. Grandi said its location is a prime spot for many WSU students.

“Of the students who attend Weber State, there are more students that live in Davis County than Weber County, and Davis County is growing at a faster rate,” Grandi said. “A lot of students that use Davis campus services may not take classes here, but they use the services because they live in the area.”

The Davis campus is WSU’s main satellite campus, but off-campus centers are also located in Roy, Kaysville and Morgan.

“We have our satellite campuses to bring the education to the people,” said Galynn Mook, WSU off-campus coordinator. “We want to make education accessible for this community.”

The West Center in Roy started out as a building in a strip mall with three small classrooms and an office. The building expanded in 2004, and now the West Center has a study area, math hub, testing center and three classrooms that accommodate 40 people each. One of the classrooms accommodates Internet video conferencing.

Six months ago, 10 acres were purchased in Hooper with the intention of expanding the West Center. This expansion is not expected to occur for at least six years, Mook said.

One of the goals of the off-campus centers is to accommodate the needs of nontraditional students. The West Center offers a variety of classes in subjects such as art, health and math. Mook said that, although eventually students will have to go to the Ogden or Davis campus for their classes, the off-campus centers are a good place to start.

“It’s less intimidating. We’re small enough that we get to know our students,” Mook said. “The off-campus centers are kind of like training wheels for university. We encourage students to intermix classes, and gradually students make their way up to the larger campus.”