14 Oct

Lost Pines Art Center Breaks Ground in Bastrop

Community members clad in hard hats with shovels in hand lifted up dirt on the site of the future Lost Pines Art Center and Reflective Sculpture Garden Monday morning, marking the groundbreaking of the long-awaited project.

“It’s a great honor for us that you cared, that you believed we could achieve this,” project director Karol Rice said to those gathered for the event at 1204 Chestnut Street.

Over the past five years, the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild — recently renamed the Lost Pines Art League — has raised $3.5 million to fund the planned 14,000 square foot facility Rice and Jeanette Condray, finance director, have spearheaded the feat.

At least 60 people congregated on the 1.25-acre property Monday to celebrate the symbolic start to the construction of the center, which will include a large art gallery, leaseable studios for local artists, classrooms and a small amphitheater.

Bastrop city officials, members of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, members of the Lost Pines Art League, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative staff and representatives from project contractor Big-D Construction alternated turning dirt for photos at the event.

The Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, Bastrop and Bluebonnet were large donors for the art center project.

State Rep. John Cyrier (HD-17) mingled with attendees at the event, even posing for a few photos himself.

The city is currently reviewing permits for the art center project, Rice said. But she said she is hopeful actual construction will begin within the month.

The art center and sculpture garden are set to open in January 2017.

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02 Oct

Unique LDS Temple, High-rise Apartment Project Excites Mormons, Others in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — The Mormon temple taking shape here is strikingly unique.

No other temple built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints combines a rare downtown location next to a major Catholic basilica, strong historic meaning to both the founding of the faith and a nation, fitting architectural majesty and a church-owned high-rise commercial project.

Add the fact that high-ranking church leaders and rank-and-file members recall the days when Pennsylvania and New Jersey had so few Mormons that the idea of a temple here was preposterous, and the joy and pride felt and expressed when the temple’s cornice lights went on last week was understandable.

“This is a magnificent structure,” Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told the Deseret News last week after he toured the temple site while he was in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.

“It is unique,” he said. “It’s true to the sense of history and the architecture of Philadelphia. It really reflects that history. I think in time it really will become a landmark in this city, because it is so uniquely suited to what Philadelphia is and has been in the history of the United States over the years.”

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09 Sep

WSU Students to Design Peru Police Station and Women’s Center

Corruption halted the construction of a police station near Chiclayo, Peru, siphoning off funding before it could be finished.

But Weber State University students will get the job done, and while they’re at it, they’re going to build a women’s center.

But first, they have to survive the design charrette.

The charrette is a 48-hour challenge, in which teams are asked to come up with innovative solutions to design problems.

To make it more challenging, most details are kept secret. For now, students only know that they’re designing a women’s center and police station.

“On Thursday night (Sept. 10) we will give them a packet of information,” Jeremy Farner, assistant professor of design engineering technology at WSU said.

That packet will include the sizes of the buildings and how they’re to be used, a list of available materials and photos of the sites.

“It’s a pretty intense 48 hours, to go through the design process and come up with an idea, and then come up with a poster and short video,” Farner said.

The poster and video presentations are due at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, when judges will study them and select the winning designs.

Awards will be presented during a public open house, which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, in the ballroom of building D3 on the Davis campus at 2750 University Park Blvd., in Layton. Scholarships for members of the winning teams are provided by Big D Construction and Hughes General Contractors.

“They’ll be responsible for the detailed cost estimate and also for the schedule — that’s the expertise our students bring,” Chris Soelberg, associate professor of construction management, said. He added that his students will also be valuable team members in terms of assessing constructibility of plans, methods and materials. “It’ll give them the opportunity to work in a group setting, and learn about synergy and how that works.”

The design charrette has changed over the years. The initial competition had students designing temporary housing for victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The following year, they were judged on their ideas for redesigning the lobby of Ogden’s historic Ben Lomond Suites hotel, and last year they created plans for a cultural center for the Timbisha Shoshone tribe in California’s Death Valley National Park.

“The first year it was very conceptual in nature,” Farner said, explaining that the students didn’t have funding to actually build housing in Haiti.

The designs for the Ben Lomond Suites were also more concept than reality and while the Timbisha Shoshone tribe’s cultural center is in the works, tribe members decided to first build a hotel first so visitors have a place to stay.

The women’s center and police station will be built in Peru in 2016. Thirty students are expected to work on the police station and women’s center.

“Students are already slated to go build them in May, so whatever comes of this competition will actually be constructed by students and faculty members,” Farner said.

Weber State University’s Center for Community Engaged Learning sends students to Peru every other year to work with students from Juan Mejia Baca University in Chiclayo.

“We have a joint partnership with the university there. They find the projects for us, and then we work together with their students to actually coordinate it and make it become a reality,” Farner said.

“We offer a class in spring semester for students interested in going, to be part of the fundraising process to purchase the materials they’re going to need, as well as to prepare themselves to execute the projects when they get there,” said Farner. “It’s about a three-week trip, and they’re going to need all three weeks to finish the projects we’re attempting to do.”

Most construction management students take evening classes and work during the day, but Soelberg hopes a few will be able to participate in the trip to Peru.

“Procuring the materials and meeting schedules in a different culture is always a challenge,” he said.

Whether his students can go or not, he’s glad they were invited to compete in the design charrette.

“We’re just excited to be part of it, and excited for the humanitarian aspect of it,” he said.

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01 Sep

S.J. Quinney Law School Celebrates Opening of “Building for the Future”

SALT LAKE CITY — Elevators at the new S.J. Quinney College of Law building were packed Tuesday morning as nearly 900 people made their way to the sixth floor auditorium for a grand opening ceremony.

“Until today, I thought we built a big enough building,” said Robert Adler, dean of the University of Utah College of Law.

The $62.5 million, 155,000-square-foot building features universal accessibility that exceeds the national Americans with Disabilities Act standard and a 65 percent reduction in energy costs beyond code requirements, making it the second LEED law building in the nation and the first in the West, university officials said.

Local dignitaries joining Adler at the ceremony included U. President David Pershing; Gov. Gary Herbert; and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; as well as donor representatives the Rev. Rick Lawson of the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation, and President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hatch and Herbert joined Adler, Pershing and President Michele Ballantyne of the S.J. Quinney College of Law and Alumni Board of Trustees in a dedicatory gavel strike, which took the place of a traditional ribbon-cutting.

Pershing said the new building reflects more than a decade of dreaming, planning and persistence, calling it a “building for the future.”

Adler said it gives him a new vision for the college. Last year, the school’s state bar pass rate was 91 percent, with a professional employment rate of 92 percent. Now, he wants to see 100 percent of students pass and find professional employment within nine months of graduation.

Second-year law student Pablo Haspel said he believes the dean’s vision is possible because the building creates a striking learning environment. Haspel, who lived in Florida, said he decided to attend the U. after seeing a brochure about the new building.

“Altogether the building is beautiful and the ceremony was beautiful,” he said. “It was great to have (Gov. Herbert and Sen. Hatch) here because it shows that we are important as one of Utah’s only two law schools.”

Herbert praised the dedicated students at the U. and said he’s confident they will uphold the laws of Utah and of the nation.

“We always need to remember that laws and liberty are only as good as the people’s determination to uphold and defend them,” the governor said.

Jugraj Dhaliwal, another second-year law student, said the new building inspires him to keep studying.

“Most students have really lofty goals when they come into law school, but you lose sight of that,” Dhaliwal said. “But when you see these walls and these huge ceilings, it reminds you why you came here. This new building with its grand features and state-of-the-art technology stands as an embodiment of the accomplishments and contributions that the many great students who came before us made to our community and to our world.”

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10 Aug

Big-D Project: Long Canyon Under Construction

OASIS – Despite the gold price hovering just above $1,000, Newmont Mining Corp. is moving full speed ahead on construction of its newest mine: Long Canyon.

Newmont acquired the gold deposit from Fronteer Gold Inc. on April 6, 2011. Four years later, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the record of decision for the mine on April 7.

“Once that was given to Newmont, we were then approved for full funding,” Gordon Mountford, project director for Long Canyon, said. “The project funding is $293 million.”

The mine site is about 30 miles east of Wells on the eastern side of the Pequop Mountain Range in Elko County and about five miles south of Interstate 80 at the Oasis exit. Long Canyon’s ground breaking was April 17.

The company began moving dirt to allow construction of the infrastructure and facilities, such as the temporary buildings placed at the site, and development of the pit began in May. The site will have a truck shop and wash bay, administration facility, geology building, heap leach and ponds, and a CIC — or carbon in columns — plant.

“Right now we’re doing the rough grading for the base (of the heap leach),” Mountford said July 30. “The excavation for the ponds will be complete this week, and then we’ll be looking at placing clay liner and starting to line the ponds with the plastic.”

“In January of 2016, Newmont will actually start up with the first fleet of trucks and shovel to begin actual mining,” he said.

He said crews will start mining about the same time the heap leach facility is ready, but material won’t be placed on the leach pad until about eight months after the facility ready.

To develop the pit at Long Canyon, the trees and other vegetation were removed and the top soil was removed. After that, the construction crews have to build the haul roads and establish the mining benches.

NA Degerstrom is handling the pit development, Mountford said.

Construction on the heap leach pad should be completed by February or March. Ore should be placed on the heap leach in August 2016, and the CIC plant also should be done that month.

Mountford said all the jobs for Long Canyon were posted to help Newmont plan for when the mine was in full production.

“We do want to try and pull employees from Wells and Wendover,” he said. “But we’re also looking at resourcing people internally who’ve already, you know, got the training and have already got the Newmont safety culture to start the mine up and also to help the training to new employees as we bring them on.

“That’s probably one of the most critical things is having some Newmont people. We’ve been on our safety journey for over five years, and we want to make sure that’s instilled immediately with new employees being hired, and it gives us the opportunity to do the proper training.”

Long Canyon has about 200 people working on the site and those construction contractors will peak at 325. Newmont personnel – project and exploration — total about 25 people. When the mine is at full production there will be about 270 employees.

Rocky Pray, project manager for Long Canyon, oversees the construction and the engineering being done by Big D, based out of Salt Lake City. Big D is Newmont’s general contractor that is handling construction of the infrastructure and facilities, and looking after the subcontractors.

“They’re basically looking after everything you see here on the valley floor,” Mountford said.

Construction at Long Canyon deals with a few challenges, including archeological issues. When a possible historical site is found on the property, an archeological team and tribal monitors handle the site. The archeologists work under the direction of the BLM and the tribal monitors are there to observe, Mountford said.

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