Shireen Ghorbani, a representative from the U’s Office of Campus Planning, said the project began in 2008 with a donation from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.
The complex will house the Tanner Dance Program, the College of Education and the College of Fine Arts. Ghorbani said the purpose of this building is to strengthen the already existing interdisciplinary relationship between the arts and education at the U and in the community.
“It will be a good model for [similar programs] in higher education across the nation,” Ghorbani said.
Mary Ann Lee, the director of the Tanner Dance Program, said the building is an exciting step forward. She said the new features include dance studios, offices and a costume shop.
“It is a beautiful state-of-the-art building,” Lee said.
Lee and other individuals who work in the program have already moved into the new offices and student dancers will be invited into the building for the first time today.
After a year of being housed in the George Thomas Building, the Tanner Dance Program will have a permanent home. The program was displaced when construction on the George S. Eccles Student Life Center began. The George Thomas Building is the former Museum of Natural History building on President’s Circle.
Mary Burbank, the director of The Urban Institute for Teacher Education within the U’s College of Education, said the building will connect faculty from all over campus through a series of partnerships. Burbank said the building has spaces for select individuals from the math and science departments to foster a relationship between these programs.
After working for the U for 20 years, Burbank said she is looking forward to being in a brand new, specially designed building.
“It’s beautiful. There’s light around the entire building,” Burbank said. “This is something people dream of their entire career.”
Burbank said there will be a dedication ceremony on Feb. 27 with an anticipated attendance of more than 500 people.