Utah State Legislature funds Dixie State University’s Human Performance Center, other programs

A concept for Dixie State University’s new Human Performance Center, which the Utah State Legislature committed to funding by appropriating $25 million toward over two years.

ST GEORGE, Utah — As the 2017 session came to a close, the Utah State Legislature appropriated $25 million over two years toward Dixie State University’s new Human Performance Center and committed ongoing funding to academic programs and institutional needs.

“The entire Dixie State University community is beyond appreciative of the legislators’ support of our institution,” Dixie State President Richard B. Williams said. “The Human Performance Center will greatly benefit the university as we continue to make significant strides in increasing academic offerings in health and human performance.”

The Legislature appropriated $8 million toward the Human Performance Center this year with the intent to fund the remainder next year. Also funded with $25 million in student fees and donations from Washington County, the City of St. George and private donors, the center will house medical programs that will prepare students to address the healthcare needs of the community. The facility will lend Dixie State the resources necessary to offer academic programs in exercise science, sports and recreation management, health administration, and population health as well as partner with the University of Utah to offer physical therapy and occupational therapy degrees.

Additionally, the center, which is slated to be built off of University Avenue in front of the Student Activities Center, will cater to the needs of southern Utah’s event-based tourism industry. The facility will be equipped to host local, regional and state high school games, Huntsman World Senior Games competitions and community-sponsored sports events.

The center is expected to be 150,000 square feet and include specialized classrooms and labs to support academic programs as well as the campus recreation and intramural program and exercise facilities including basketball courts that convert to indoor soccer venues, a fitness center, a track and a climbing wall. Additionally, the center will feature a 50-meter swimming pool with deck space, making it the only pool in southern Utah to meet NCAA requirements to host Division II meets and only the second in Utah to do so.

“The Human Performance Center will help the university work toward its strategic goal to expand its academic offerings,” Williams said. “Not only will the facility be a great addition to the campus landscape, it will also be an asset to the entire county.”

Beyond the Human Performance Center, the Legislature appropriated $244,200 toward the costs associated with Dixie State’s enrollment growth. After welcoming 2,166 freshmen to campus this fall — the institution’s largest freshman class ever — Dixie State will use the funds for retention tools and student support services.

The Legislature also appropriated half a million dollars for academic support for student-athletes, funding efforts to improve student-athletes’ graduation rates. Also concerning Dixie State Athletics, the Legislature authorized the state to issue $4.7 million in revenue bonds to fund a portion of the Legend Solar Stadium expansion, with donations and institutional funds serving as the primary revenue source for repayment.

Additionally, the Legislature committed $150,000 in ongoing money to support Dixie State’s efforts to prepare students to meet the significant demand for quality computer programmers, designers and web developers in the technology marketplace. The funding will support the College of Science & Technology’s youth programs such as Lego leagues, robotics teams, Girls Go Digital and computer camps that reach students as early as elementary school and pique their interest in technology. The funding will help meet the more immediate needs of the industry by supporting Code School and Design School, in which college students undergo intensive learning experiences and interact with professionals in the field over the summer.

Legislators committed another $962,100 to increase employee compensation and benefits.

“We are excited to get to work on these newly funded projects and share our progress with the community,” Williams said. “The addition of the Human Performance Center and increased support of academic programs will make Trailblazer Nation an even better place to live and go to school.”

For more information about Dixie State University, visit dixie.edu.

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