U of U, SLCC break ground on new joint campus in HerrimanJul 27, 2021 10:54AM ● By Justin Adams
Government and education leaders, from both the state-wide and local level, break ground on a new joint-campus to be shared by the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Representatives from the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College gathered in Herriman on July 15 to break ground for a new campus that the two institutions will share.
The $57 million campus will be built along Sentinel Ridge Boulevard, to the northwest of Zions Bank Stadium and RSL Academy. It’s expected to be finished by 2023. Future students will be able to work on an associate’s degree through SLCC as well as a bachelor's degree through the University of Utah in fields such as teaching, health care, information systems, business, social work, criminal justice and engineering.
“It’s been no secret that this southwest quadrant of Salt Lake County has been growing and growing fast,” said SLCC President Deneece Huftalin at the groundbreaking ceremony. “In the face of this growth, higher education officials, state lawmakers, local municipality governments and local education leaders all knew that providing current and future residents with affordable access to higher education would be critical.”
Huftalin said the land for the new campus was acquired by the state 10 years ago, with the thought of building some kind of higher education facility there. Then for the last five years, they have been more actively “dreaming and planning” for what the space could be.
Throughout that time, city leaders have been doing everything they could to make the dream a reality.
“This has been a long, long time coming. It’s been tough to get all the pieces in place over the last 10 years,” said City Councilman Jared Henderson.
According to Henderson, the city has spent “millions and millions” of dollars on infrastructure improvements like water and roads that were required if the project were to ever materialize. For the city, it was a bit of a leap of faith to invest all that money, not knowing for sure if it would ever pay off. Henderson said he even gave up hope at moments, and wondered if the city should use the money for other purposes.
But through the efforts of city officials and staff, everything came together and the investment paid off.
Rep. Candice Pierruci, who represents the Riverton and Herriman area at the state legislature, said she’s excited for the opportunities that residents of the area will have to start or continue their education close to home.
“What I especially love about SLCC is that it’s a place for first-time opportunities but also second chances in education,” she said. “We’re going to see people fresh out of high school coming here and we’ll also see those moms who took time off, but they’re coming back in their 40’s to finish off their degree. I’m really excited about both stories that we’re going to see here.”
The campus will not only be a source of educational opportunity for locals, but also a much-needed employment center for this part of the valley, noted Henderson.