John E. Lindquist made a $5 million donation for the renovation of WSU’s Social Science Building.
$30 million is still needed to fund the rest of the project.
The Utah State Legislature is currently deciding on the building budget for this year.
OGDEN, Utah—For students at Weber State, it’s not secret that the Social Science Building has seen better days. Outdated classrooms and dim lighting are just some of the issues that need to be addressed.
Director of Forensic Science Doctor Brent Horn said that he is worried about potential safety hazards in the forensics lab. “I have sensitive equipment plugged into this power strip, and this presents a problem for blowing my equipment up in the long run,” Doctor Horn said.
Doctor Horn also pointed out other problems including contaminated tap water and cramped working spaces for students.
But on Feb. 8, a $5 million donation was made to the Social Science Renovation Project. Ogden businessman John E. Lindquist tells us why he made this contribution. “I wanted to be part of the university…Everyone has to give back to the community, be it a gift or even something more valuable such as the gift of time,” Lindquist said.
The donation was announced on the same day that Weber State petitioned the Utah State Legislature for funding. The project is estimated to cost $35 million, but Lindquist’s timely donation reduced the needed funding to $30 million.
Lindquist’s donation may have a positive impact on the project’s ranking, but funding from the legislature is still not guaranteed.
Director of Campus Planning and Construction, Mark Halverson, is one of the representatives who presented the renovation proposal. And he has some concerns. “While I’m not pessimistic, I’m not really optimistic because there’s just not a ton of money,” Halverson said.
Halverson expects only the top three or four projects will receive funding this year.
Even if Weber doesn’t receive funding this year, representatives will keep working to persuade the Legislature that the Social Science Building is in serious need of renovation.
A recent update on this report shows that a subcommittee ranked all of the college building projects. The Social Science Building landed in sixth place, so now it’s up to the Executive Appropriations Committee to finalize the decision.
Follow Lindsey Parkinson @lmpark87