New BYU building to honor Pres. Benson

The Brigham Young University Board of Trustees recently approved naming a 180,000 square-foot building soon to be constructed in honor of President Ezra Taft Benson.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Ezra Taft Benson Science Building will be conducted April 9 at 11 a.m. east of the Joseph Smith Building and south of the Eyring Science Center on the BYU campus."I am grateful to the Board of Trustees that this much-needed building has been authorized, and grateful also that it is named for President Benson," said BYU Pres. Rex E. Lee. "For as long as I can remember, since my first days as a student here almost 40 years ago, President Benson has been actively involved and highly interested in this university. It is therefore very appropriate that his name be associated with this building, which will be one of the most prominent on our campus."

Representatives from the General Authorities of the Church, as well as members of the Benson family, are scheduled to attend the ceremony. The public is welcome as well.

The design for the Ezra Taft Benson Science Building features three connected wings, according to Gene Libutti of BYU Physical Facilities. The east wing will house biochemistry facilities, while the central and west wings will have faculty and student offices, laboratories and classrooms for the other chemistry areas: physical, analytical, inorganic and organic.

The east wing will be two stories tall, with both stories above ground, while the central building will consist of four above-ground levels plus a basement.

The west wing's ample ground-level space will be devoted to classrooms and three auditoriums, two of which seat 250 and another seating 162.

A dramatic rounded glass-walled study area will offer a panoramic view of the campus and mountains to the north. Smaller classrooms with capacities of 25 to 60 students will be contained in this wing's basement; some of these classrooms will be used by disciplines outside the chemistry area.

The new three-part structure will become one of the largest buildings on campus, Brother Libutti said.

Bidding for the building's construction is scheduled for the end of March.

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