ISU breaks ground for $ 11.5 million alumni center; Start of construction immediately | Local

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POCATELLO – For the first time in over a decade, Idaho State University broke ground on a new facility.

ISU has officially started construction on its $ 11.5 million alumni center after the groundbreaking ceremony took place Thursday morning at the future location on the corner of Bonneville Street and Memorial Avenue near the Holt Arena in Pocatello.






Kevin Satterlee




“Today this event, here and now, will mark the first official groundbreaking ceremony for a brand new building on this campus in more than a decade,” said ISU President Kevin Satterlee. “We’re here to celebrate in person, with our Bengali compatriots for the groundbreaking of the Idaho Central Credit Union Bengal Alumni Center. This is an important, forward-looking event at ISU. This alumni center will serve as a new hub on this campus where we will greet Bengali when they come home, we will provide a place for our alumni to meet, we will host our community to bring them to our campus bring events and functions. It will serve as the home for many key operations and will be a new welcoming place for all new Bengali who join our family. That means this facility for the future of Idaho State University. “

Original plans for an alumni center began over two decades ago. Over the years hundreds of Bengali alumni, donors and friends have worked together to raise the private funds needed to build the building.

The effort was reinvigorated in 2017 when late alumnus Jack R. Wheatley donated $ 2 million to the project. Since then, an additional $ 6 million has been raised, including a $ 1.5 million gift from the Idaho Central Credit Union, whose name the center bears.

Kent Oram, the Chief Executive Office of Idaho Central Credit Union, attended the groundbreaking ceremony and spoke during the event.

“We are very grateful to the ISU for everything you do for us. As Kevin (Satterlee) mentioned, we do a lot of things all over the state, but this is our home – we all grew up here, ”Oram said, fighting emotions. “What is really important is the people who take care of it. That’s why ISU is about people, about changing the lives of the students who come here, and about providing jobs and wonderful opportunities for teachers, staff and administrators at ISU. What a wonderful place and what a wonderful cause for our community. We are just happy to be part of it. “

Not only will the Alumni Center give anyone entering the ISU Pocatello campus a positive first impression of the school with a modern, state-of-the-art building, but also a large open courtyard, huge event hall and executive boardroom in which to sit meet the boards of Alumni Relations and the ISU Foundation on a regular basis.

Cheryl Hanson, ISU vice president of facility services, said the outdoor area will include terraced gardens and the indoor event center can be cordoned off and divided into two distinct areas.

In addition, the center will include several smaller meeting rooms, a beautiful atrium and welcome area, and a dedicated space for the school’s athletic hall of fame, named after Sylvia and the late Don “Pappy” Papenburg, said Ryan Sargent, ISU director of alumni -Relationships.

ISU head coach Rob Phenicie also attended the groundbreaking Thursday. The dedicated ISU Sports Hall of Fame was a feature the trainer looked forward to the most.

“She is great and is one of the best supporters of our program,” said Phenicie of Sylvia Papenburg. “Every day our boys go to the practice area under her name and she has a big smile on her face at every basketball game. I think this space is very important. I am a huge advocate of sharing school history with our current players so they understand what they are playing for. A beautiful new facility right next to our soccer complex is simply awesome. “

The alumni center will replace the school’s current alumni facility, a 3,000-square-foot single-family home on South Seventh Avenue known as the Magnuson Alumni House that ISU plans to keep and repurpose, Sargent said.






Ryan Sargent

Ryan Sargent




“The Magnuson Alumni House has been a wonderful facility for ISU alumni since the 1970s,” said Sargent. “It is a beautiful house and the university will continue to use it to serve Bengal and we look forward to it. Really, we just outgrew the room. We’re a bigger, more dynamic university than we were in the 1970s, and this new building will reflect that growth and excitement. For the first time, we will have a real event space to welcome friends and alumni back to campus, and an operational services space where alumni can reconnect with students in a way they did in the past never did. “

The architect of the project is Myers Anderson of Pocatello, Keller Associates Inc. of Pocatello is the lead engineering team, and Ormond Buildings Inc. of Idaho Falls is the general contractor for the project.

“We have an incredible university and we are excited to advance its mission by bringing students and alumni together in this building like never before to teach and learn together, bring real experience into the classroom and the skills we have with us Learned to apply this university and give something back to future Bengali students, ”said Sargent. “This morning the vision that began over 20 years ago is becoming a reality. It is certainly a great time to be an Idaho State Bengal. Welcome to your new home and roar, Bengal, roar. “



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