LAYTON -- The next phase of the Weber State University-Davis Campus has officially begun.
With the thrust of a shovel, WSU and Davis County officials broke ground on what will be a 120,146-square-foot addition to the Davis campus at 2750 N. University Park Blvd.
Funding for the nearly $40 million Professional Programs Classrooms Building was authorized by Gov. Gary Herbert in March.
The new building will open in fall 2013 immediately east of the first campus building, which opened in 2003.
The new building will include classrooms and laboratories to accommodate nursing, electronics engineering, construction management, interior design and several other programs.
Currently, WSU-Davis supplements its main building with a set of portable classrooms on the west side of the campus and has converted several conference rooms into classrooms to accommodate growth.
"We've had growing pains that are typical," said Bruce Davis, vice provost at WSU. "We've done everything we can to accommodate the need, but really the solution is another building."
Davis said the new building will allow many of the campus programs to expand.
"There are some additional degree programs we would like to bring out to the community. We need space for those programs."
The new building also will serve as a permanent home for the Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering & Science.
The early-college program has 450 students and plans to expand to 500. NUAMES currently uses five classrooms and 13 portable classrooms.
In addition to academic space, the new building will include student union space funded through a bond financed by $4.4 million in student fees. Other elements include a large food court, a fitness area with classrooms, an area devoted to cardio and weight training, lockers and showers, and event space.
Weber State President F. Ann Millner said the new building is the result of support from the community, the Davis Chamber of Commerce and local state legislators.
"There have been so many people involved in making this a reality," she said. "This will make higher education a reality for so many people."