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Changes Coming to CPD

Sue Reeves


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orange road closed sign
Orange construction signs such as this will be common around the CPD site by the end of fall semester

Dr. Bryce Fifield has announced his resignation as director of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. Fifield will become a faculty member in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation, housed in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

Dr. Judith Holt has been named interim director and will lead the CPD in the transition to a new, as-yet-unnamed building that will house all of the College’s clinical services. The $30 million clinical services building will be constructed at the site of the current CPD.

During a meeting with CPD staff on June 5, Dr. Beth Foley, dean of the College, said the current CPD building will need to be vacated by the end of the Fall 2015 semester so asbestos abatement can begin in January 2016 prior to demolition. The target date for the opening of the new building is August 2017.

The four-story, 100,000-square-foot building will house more than 30 clinics and service providers that are currently spread out across campus in 10 buildings. The primary focus will be on interdisciplinary training opportunities for USU students, with the added benefit of easier access to services for clients.

“I think we have the opportunity to do something really special,” Foley said. “I have travelled around the country and looked at other, similar centers, and I haven’t found one that has the breadth of programs that we do in the College, plus a UCEDD as strong as this one.”

Sue Olsen, the CPD’s director of exemplary services, has been tasked with determining space allocation needs and temporary housing for CPD programs and projects during the construction process. Beginning later this month, the process of allocating space in the new building will begin.

“I think we can do some really amazing things,” Foley said, “But the downside is we only get to do this once, and we want to do it right as much as possible.”

Foley acknowledged that the process of tearing down one building and putting up another in its place will be a painful process.

“If we look to the future and we see the possibilities, and see something good at the end, we can be willing to put up with the disruption,” she said.

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