PROVO, Utah – After a decade in the works and being delayed for a year due to COVID-19, Salt Lake Community College plans to start construction on a new location in Herriman this summer.
When the pandemic hit a year ago and the ensuing economic downturn happened, plans for construction were put on hold. But with a new appropriations bill signed by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox for $32 million, building will start with completion being forecast for 2023.
The Juniper Canyon Campus will be home to classes for both SLCC and the University of Utah; a partnership designed to increase classroom opportunities for those in the Herriman area without having to travel across the Utah valley.
New campus equals economic growth
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that there are three high schools, two traditional public schools and charter schools, as well as high schools in the surrounding areas that will feed into the campus once construction is complete.
Tami Moody, assistant city manager for Herriman, said the campus will provide new jobs and job training for people in the area, stimulating the local economy.
“Anytime you have a campus like this that comes into your community, it will spur growth,” Moody said.
There is a retail area near the campus that will provide food, shops, and work opportunities for students attending.
A decade in the making
In an interview with the “U Rising” podcast, SLCC President Deneece Huftalin commented on the long history of planning and stalling it has taken to get to this point.
“The college invested in 2011 in 90 acres in the Herriman community,” Huftalin said. “Back then there were just lots of fields, nobody could really see it [the potential]. We knew it was going to happen. We had some good demographer information, but wow, if you’ve seen that area over the last two years, it’s just exploded.”
A plan in place for students
According to a presentation by the college, the new campus will likely start with 2,125 students when it opens in 2023 and grow to 6,750 students by 2025.
Huftalin said there will be 12 programs between SLCC and the University of Utah by 2025. The two schools are taking another step in their long working relationship with each other to benefit students and identify programs specific to Utah.