WSU to Open Davis Campus Despite Money Shortage

WSU to Open Davis Campus Despite Money Shortage

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LAYTON, Utah (AP) -- Despite the Legislature providing less than half the money needed, Weber State plans to open its Davis campus this summer. The Legislature approved $221,000 for operating the campus, expecting the university to come up with the rest of the $450,000 operations budget itself.

"We're going to make it work for this year, and hope that we have the support next year for the rest of the money," said Weber State President Ann Millner.

University administrators plan to use one-time money and other sources that cannot be counted on after this year.

The new 106,000-square-foot building, expected to be completed six weeks ahead of schedule, was shown to the university's trustees Tuesday. The three-story building was started in April 2002 and is expected to be finished June 26. The first classes will begin in August for fall semester.

Sitting on a 105-acre parcel straddling the Layton and Clearfield city limits, the building will accommodate 1,500 students at one time, allowing 3,000 to 4,000 students to enroll.

Weber now offers classes at various buildings in the county, including three high schools.

The creative financing for the first year includes the expectation that warranties will cover a number of costs that otherwise would have to be paid out of the maintenance budget.

"Piecing it together that way, we think we can get through the year," said Norm Tarbox, vice president of administrative services for the university. "We cannot get through a second year. It's vital we get the ongoing funding for that building."

About 35 percent of Weber State's 17,000 student population travels from Davis County to attend the university. The campus can accommodate almost all of that population, but administrators still expect Davis students to travel to the Ogden campus and some Ogden students to travel to Davis.

"Students will look at the schedule and decide where they're taking classes based on what fits their schedule," Millner said.

Weber hopes to eventually have eight buildings on the Davis campus, but it has only the one now and it includes, student-service facilities, computer labs and a testing center,

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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