11 News Special Report: The Future Of Mesa State Part Two

On the corner of 12th Street and Orchard Avenue it's plain to see that the landscape of Mesa State College is changing. The institute of higher learning is constructing phase one of it's Saunders Field House expansion project which includes a soccer stadium and a parking garage. If the state legislature comes through with funding, they also plan to renovate Saunders and 14 new classrooms which would be utilized by the Health Sciences Department.

Over the last couple of years the Health Sciences Department has added a number of new nursing programs as well as a new EMT Program and is on deck to start its Paramedic Program this spring. The addition of the new courses has more than doubled the number of students in the department. Space is tight in the current Health Sciences building, right now there are only three labs and with more and more students enrolling in the program every semester there is a real need for extra room. The Saunders Field House expansion would allow the department to have two additional labs for a total of five.

Another academic program in need is the Business Department. Currently the program is so cramped for space that it can't offer the classes they would like at times that are convenient for students. Where Elm and College Place meet just North of the school's Fine Arts Building sits two modular buildings which house the Math Lab; but soon they'll give way to a new academic building. This will give the growing business program a new and improved state–of–the–art home.

The cost is around $15 Million. The State Capital Development Committee provided part of the funding last year and Mesa State anticipate lawmakers will come through with the $7.8 Million still needed. In all the college hopes to get roughly $27 Million in capital construction funds for the Saunders Field House expansion project and this new academic hall. The school will find out whether they'll receive the funding sometime in April or May.