|The map (above) shows the 120 acres of Weber State University property east of Skyline Drive that was examined in the geological study. Tan sections represent land that is useable for possible WSU expansion. Blue sections were deemed too steep to be useable.|
OGDEN, Utah – A new study commissioned by the State of Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) shows Weber State University has nearly 58 acres of undeveloped, useable land east of Skyline Drive, which could support a million square feet of academic space.
The acreage finding is reported in an independent geological research study conducted by the Shipley Group at the request of DFCM. The study evaluated the feasibility and use of 120 acres of currently undeveloped land on WSU’s Ogden campus.
Keith Stepan, director of DFCM, shared the report’s findings at the university’s monthly Board of Trustees meeting held Tuesday.
“All the recent talk about developments along Ogden’s east bench served as the impetus for the state to conduct a thorough geological evaluation of that property,” said Stepan. “The study found that the university property east of Skyline Drive has 57.5 acres of useable land, which, in DFCM’s opinion, could support a million square feet of academic space. That’s a sizeable figure given the Ogden campus has 2.4 million square feet of existing academic space.”
The land is undeveloped with the exception of two buildings that house key campus support services. A water retention facility for campus irrigation also is located on the property.
WSU President Ann Millner said the study’s findings provided some new insights about the hillside. In addition to the useable space, university officials were surprised to discover that a fault line—long thought to run across the property—doesn’t exist.
“That’s a lot of land the university could potentially use for future expansion of academic and research facilities,” said Tom Davidson, chairman of the WSU Board of Trustees. “I would be interested in seeing a report and rendering of what that property might look like if the university developed it. How would this property meet the university’s future needs?”
Millner and Davidson said the study’s findings will be a valuable resource for future campus master plans. University officials have not taken a position on Ogden development plans, waiting to learn more details about the proposed project and to conduct a thorough evaluation regarding the project’s impact on the campus and WSU students.
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