CEDAR CITY, Utah — On April 27, Southern Utah University (SUU), located in Cedar City, will break ground on a new business building. The shining gem of the new 42,000-square-foot building will be its new Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Center for Entrepreneurship, designed to foster creativity, collaboration and innovation for students planning to start their own companies.
Since SUU’s School of Business opened in 1979, student enrollment and faculty positions have doubled, outgrowing the current space. The new structure will accommodate the more than 800 current business students in order for the school to maintain a competitive edge. It will feature flexible learning spaces to foster collaboration as well as digital communication for today’s tech-savvy learners, according to a statement. Salt Lake City-based MHTN is working as the architect on the project.
The new business building will create a more efficient space for students by bringing all the university and community efforts supporting the School of Business under one roof. Its Center for Entrepreneurship will feature the Christy Family Incubator Lab and office space for start-up companies, building on the Small Business Development Center, according to a statement.
“We are so excited to have the Entrepreneurship Center as part of the new business building and to be associated with the Miller family, certainly one of the greatest entrepreneurs in Utah,” said Carl Templin, dean of the SUU School of Business, in a statement. “This center will help us mentor and grow student entrepreneurs from any discipline,”
The $17 million project is supported by the community, with the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Foundation donating $7.5 million — the largest gift in the university’s history — in 2015 to kick off the project. In March 2016, the state legislature approved $8 million for the construction, and then in July of 2016, the Miller Foundation offered a matching grant that brought in new donors to finish off the project. The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies encompasses more than 80 businesses, including enterprises such as NBA’s Utah Jazz and its well-known arena. Fifteen other local organizations followed the Miller pledge in donating additional funding to the project.
“As a family, our foundation is pleased to be part of the new Center for Entrepreneurship at SUU,” said Gail Miller, chair of the Miller Group, in a statement. “We should help others along the way by sharing and teaching the lessons we have learned. If we are diligent, our example will inspire others to become lifelong students, teachers and leaders.”