Posted September 4, 2007
Terming it a “wonderful moment of ISU history” Idaho State University President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., welcomed officials and members of the university and Pocatello community to the grand opening ceremony for Idaho State University’s new 255,000-square-foot Rendezvous Complex Aug. 30.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the structure’s atrium area, and tours of the new $43.5 million building followed.
This state-of-the-art facility features more than 50 multipurpose classrooms, a 120-station computer laboratory, 80 three- and four-bedroom apartment suites housing 301 students, a food court, a convenience store, a “Spirit Shop” selling ISU apparel, an art gallery and more.
A number of officials spoke at the event, including John Masserini, D.M.A., chair of the ISU Faculty Senate, who praised the building’s functionality and its “stunning sense of esthetics.”
Also speaking at the event were Associated Students of ISU President Jennifer Brown, Pocatello City Councilman Richard Stallings, Chubbuck Mayor Steven England, Idaho State Board of Education member Blake Hall, and Vice President for Student Affairs Lee Krehbiel, Ph.D.
“This facility is terrific, and important, but ultimately it’s the human relationships, the social and intellectual ferment, the celebrations of achievement and considerations of ideas that matter, that will make this a special place in the academy,” Krehbiel said. “Welcome to the adventure.”
The building is situated across Martin Luther King Jr. Way from ISU’s Eli M. Oboler Library. Students began moving into the housing units on Aug. 22.
While Rendezvous’ various rooms, large and small, get most of the public’s attention, the five-story atrium may be the building’s showpiece. Windows span the entire width of the east end and half the length of the west end so many plants can receive sunlight.
The building houses the Faculty Senate Offices and has a three-room suite for conferences.
Classrooms are all equipped with computerized “smart podiums” used to display information on drop-down projection screens. Classes from all disciplines will be taught at the center. Two of the classrooms are fully equipped computer classrooms with a computer at each desk. The building also features a 250-seat lecture hall with a domed planetarium. This multistory room will function only as a lecture hall until a donor for an approximately $2 million planetarium projection system can be found.
The Rendezvous Complex’s student apartment suites come with individual bedrooms and include shared kitchenette and bathroom facilities. Each room is equipped with a washer, dryer and full-sized refrigerator as well as plenty of storage space.
The Rendezvous Complex is designed to be the hub of the University, where many of the University’s classes can be taught. Because classrooms will be centralized, this should free up space in existing buildings for faculty offices and laboratories. The Center for Teaching and Learning also will be located in the building.
Though largely complete, there is still work scheduled to be done in and around the Rendezvous Complex. The top floor of the three-story classroom portion of the building is about half complete, but funding is available for additional work.
“The top floor (of the classroom portion of the complex) is about 50 percent complete and we now have plans and the funding to move the Center for Teaching and Learning to the top floor,” said Darrell Buffaloe, associate vice president of facilities services. “We’ll have that completed right after the first of the year, and we’re putting in two Math 108 classrooms adjacent to the teaching center.”
Once the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Math 108 classrooms are moved into the facility about 80 percent of the top floor of the classroom portion of the complex will be occupied.
Basic landscaping around the building will be completed in the next 12 months. Cadet Field, between the Rendezvous Complex and Reed Gymnasium, will be reseeded and is scheduled to be reopened as a softball field in the summer of 2008.