UCHealth, University of Utah Chosen as ENR Mountain States’ Owners of the Year

The University of Utah has undertaken a massive building program over the past few years, spending tens of millions to add and expand numerous research, educational, athletics and health-care facilities to serve its more than 31,000 students.

Projects recently completed or still underway include the Primary Children’s & Families’ Cancer Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute (Huntsman Cancer Institute Phase 4), built by Jacobsen Construction; George S. Eccles Student Life Center, built by Okland Construction; Orson Spencer Hall Replacement, Okland Construction; Crocker Science Building, Okland Construction; S.J. Quinney College of Law, Big-D Construction; University Ski House, Ascent Construction; Garff Executive Education Building, Jacobsen; Ambulatory Care Complex, Jacobsen; Rehabilitation Hospital, Okland; and the new $45-million Farmington Health Center, which recently won a national ENR Best of the Best Projects award. It was built by Layton Construction.

Watch for detailed profile stories on both these owners in the April issue of ENR Mountain States. Congrats to this year’s winners.

Original Article Here

The Marriott Library Celebrates 50 Years

Article by: Heidi Brett, Marriott Library

On April 18, 1968, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and U alum Wallace Stegner visited campus to speak at the dedication of the newly constructed Library and Learning Center, which would become the J. Willard Marriott Library the following year.

Strategically positioned in the center of campus, the new library was the largest academic library in the nation at the time.

The previous library in the George Thomas Building (now the Crocker Science Center) had made for cramped quarters, but the new library, spanning five floors and 300,000 square feet, almost seemed overly spacious. The long rows of stacks were initially sparsely inhabited. But not for long. In 1969, J. Willard Marriott, Sr. contributed $1 million to fill those shelves. The gift was the largest contribution the U had received at that point.

“The Marriott family’s generosity laid the foundation for what would become one of the finest academic libraries in the west,” said Alberta Comer, dean of the Marriott Library and university librarian. “Their continued support for the past five decades has allowed us to grow not only in collections but also technologically and as an organization as a whole.”

On Friday, March 2, the Marriott Library will hold a 50th celebration event.

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50th Anniversary Celebration

Please join us for a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the J. Willard Marriott Library!

Click Here for Information


The library was and remains a popular campus hangout spot for studying as well as socializing.


Originally, the Thomas library (located in the formal Natural history Museum and what is now the Crocker Science Center) served as a functional home for more than three decades. By the late 50's, it became clear the library needed more space for books and seating.


Construction of the learning Center and Library was completed at the end of 1967.


A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a library expansion. Left to right: Gregory Thompson, Juli Hinz, Ken Luker, Glen Cameron, Bob Staub
Learn more about the 50th anniversary celebration and see more archival photos.



By Abeni Czajkowski

Our campus is filled with a unique blend of art - from modern, to contemporary, to historic. If you have had a chance to explore the new Crocker Science Center, you will find it hard to ignore the rhythmic and mesmerizing tree sculpture showcased in the main entryway. The sculpture, Life of Tree was designed by Bill Washabaugh and the group of artists in the Hyperson and Plebian Design Team at Hypersonic.

“The name ‘Life of Tree’ was inspired by the biological Tree of Life, which highlights the underlying connection between all parts of our natural world. It is the link between patterns across seemingly disparate disciplines.” says Washabaugh. The team took the phrase ‘Tree of Life’ and turned it upside down - both metaphorically and literally!

Taking a total of 9 months to design, 5 months to construct, and 3 weeks to install, Life of Tree is not short of hidden details and the team drew inspiration from the natural world to create the hypnotic sculpture. Washabaugh’s sculpture consists of aluminum triangles all bent and contorted into a total of 190 hollow pieces. The tree is roughly inspired by a Pinyon Pine Tree and is entirely solar powered ; a detail which further emphasizes the connection the sculpture has to a real tree.

Life of Tree is a kinetic sculpture whose movements embody the scientific principles of resonance and frequency response. The team wanted to capture the unpredictable nature of these responses across vast scales of space and time and reflected those patterns in a series of sometimes unpredictable movements. As for the upside down posture of the sculpture, Washabaugh explains that it was designed to depict a tree’s reflection in water - symbolizing the metaphor that all scientific theories are a reflection of the underlying reality.

Life of Tree creates the reflection of the natural world that draws our attention towards the unknown. Washabaugh drew inspiration for the tree’s movements from wind flows, water surfaces, seismic motions, and solar cycles and the sculpture is a modern take on our connection to the natural world.

Life of Tree in the common area of the Crocker Science Center

The tree leaves are made out of perforated aluminum sheets, bent along triangular patterns. There are 24 horizontal slices of the tree, each slice is connected to the next by a spring and the entire motion of the tree is driven by 1 motor hidden near the very bottom (or top) of the tree.