OGDEN — Weber State University student Myla Andersen is graduating in April with a degree in political science, so she spent a lot of time in the old Social Sciences Building, which she described as dark and confusing.
Standing on the staircase surrounded by a crowd of people Monday, Andersen said Lindquist Hall looked totally different at the building’s official opening and ribbon cutting.
“I’m so grateful to be in this beautiful new building with all this natural light,” she said.
Rebuilding Lindquist Hall cost $35 million, most of which came from the Utah State Legislature. The building’s namesake, John E. Lindquist of Lindquist Mortuaries and Great Western Insurance, donated the remaining $5 million to the project.
Lindquist said seeing the building come to fruition is humbling. He chose to give money to the university because he could live anywhere but chooses to live in Ogden.
“This is where my roots are,” he said. “I live where I do for a reason.”
Starting as far back as 2014, Weber State began planning to rebuild the Social Science Building. The original structure was dedicated in 1973, according to spokeswoman Allison Barlow Hess.
The new 119,322 square foot building has three floors and a basement containing 72 offices, 34 classrooms, six student study spaces, five labs, three testing centers, a computer lab and other rooms. It houses the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences along with the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service and the Richard Richards Institute for Ethics.
The building itself has numerous vertical windows and glass fixtures allowing light to flow through the building. The decor is predominantly light grays and tans with purple and lime green accents, and the second floor has a large picture window overlooking the parking lot, backed by mountains.
Julie Rich, the associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said it took a lot of people working together to make the building a reality.
There are 2,052 students enrolled in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences this fall, 80 percent of whom are at the Ogden campus according to the university’s Office of Institutional Research.
“What you see today, what you’ve witnessed is a beautiful energy efficient building with state of the art laboratories and classrooms providing an excellent learning environment for our students,” she said.
The new building took about a year and a half to complete. It was designed by GSBS Architects and built by Big-D Construction. Using the original frame and foundation of the building saved between $5 and $6 million dollars, according to the university.
The grand opening took place on Weber State’s 130th Founders Day, so instead of cutting a traditional ribbon those involved with the project released 130 balloons indoors.
“We’re so proud and excited to have this facility for our students to learn in and for our faculty and staff to do their amazing work,” Weber State President Brad Mortensen said.