The recent opening of a newly renovated and upgraded educational facility in Salt Lake City has widened the scope of enrollees to Utah's largest private university.
Brigham Young University's new downtown satellite location at the Triad Center allows even more students to take advantage of the school's degree programs, but in a much smaller setting. The center offers nearly 200 courses each semester and caters to working students, as well as those who find the quaint location more appealing.
"It's more of a one-on-one situation with the instructor and definitely smaller class sizes," said Stephanie Alley, a full-time BYU-Provo student from Oklahoma. She added that the new location is "definitely an upgrade" from the former conditions of the school's Salt Lake location on Highland Drive.
"It's a night and day difference," she said.
A majority of the center's students commute from Provo to take advantage of the alternative scheduling, convenience and small class sizes now being offered in Salt Lake City.
The school also has tried to preserve the feel of its mother-campus influence at the Triad Center, with large photographs of Provo landmarks and campus buildings and links throughout to the much larger Provo institution.
"The photographs remind us that we are part of the entire BYU community," said Lee J. Glines, the center's director. "In all respects, we're simply a department within the Division of Continuing Education at Brigham Young University."
That extension goes beyond the new center's structural implications, as the nearly 1,800 students at the Salt Lake Center also are required to abide by BYU's honor and dress codes, just as they would in the Provo campus environment.
Glines said making it as much a part of BYU as possible is "the ideal."
The school's Salt Lake Center, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, occupies just over two floors at the Triad Center, in Triad 3, next to where the LDS Business College recently was relocated. The increased size permits additional seating for more than 340 students in each class.
Besides being close to everything, the new location offers students additional classrooms, group-study rooms, multiple student commons areas, access to a six-level parking terrace and a full-service cafe, the Carriage Cafe, at the Triad.
TRAX lines run by the Triad Center, providing access from anywhere the light-rail transit option goes, said Dane Rigby, an administrator at the center. The new location puts the center in touch with many of Salt Lake City's educational, historical, cultural, spiritual and community attractions.
"It makes taking classes up here a lot of fun," he said, adding that he has encouraged professors to include aspects of the downtown environment in their course work, inviting people to take part in what the city offers.
The 66,000-square-foot building is completely wireless, giving it "the best technology of any building on the (Triad) campus," Rigby said. The enhanced media allow students and faculty to access the Web within any of its 28 classrooms, and other learning-centered environments — including a multimedia auditorium, computer labs and the new library, which is essentially a brand of Provo's Harold B. Lee Library.
"The church obviously envisioned its plan for downtown and has incorporated LDS Business College and BYU as part of its headquarters, which will create a whole new feeling for downtown Salt Lake," said Drew Howells, a junior at the BYU Salt Lake Center. He said the new facility, located at 345 W. North Temple , is an "economical choice" for his education, allowing him a quality education with only a short drive from home.
The center opened to students on Sept. 4 and has been fully operational since then, providing students with access to more than 180 general, major-specific and elective courses.
For more information about the center, or to enroll in upcoming semesters, visit www.ce.byu.edu/sl