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September 2013 – Community Forum Newsletter

Next Community Forum

Thursday, January 16, 2014
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Student Union Building
200 S. Central Campus Drive
Panorama East Room (4th Floor)

The Union Building is served by UTA bus and free campus shuttle. If you drive, parking is validated for the lot east of the Union Building. We welcome your attendance, comments, and participation in the discussion

AGENDA of Next Forum

  • 2014 Construction projects and impacts
    John McNary, director, Campus Planning
  • 2014 Activity in Research Park
    Jonathon Bates, director, University Real Estate Administration
  • 2014 Office of Sustainability
    Myron Willson, director
  • Transit and transportation plans in 2014
    Alma Allred, Director, Commuter Services


Recap of the SEPT. 12, 2013 Community Forum


Several neighbors living near the U campus have contacted the University with concerns about noise from what they believe are medical helicopters flying over their houses. The University responded to these concerns by inviting Jason Brown and Frankie Hurst with University Hospital’s AirMed, and Bill Butts and Erica Dahl with Primary Children’s Medical Center’s Intermountain Life Flight, to present information and answer questions at the Sept. 12 Community Forum. They showed slides and maps of their preferred flight paths, which respect the neighborhoods near the Health Sciences Campus, and described how their operations work.

What we learned

First, the airspace east of I-15 is unrestricted, which means the Federal Aviation Administration does not have jurisdiction and does not control that airspace. Second, in addition to AirMed (established in 1972) and Life Flight (1978), there are additional companies using helicopters in the airspace near the Health Sciences Campus, including media (radio and TV news and weather), charter companies, and, in just the past four or five years, a flight school and several new medical transport companies based outside Utah that bring patients to the health sciences from remote areas such as Green River, Vernal, Southeast Idaho, etc.

With a team of 90 nurses, paramedics, and pilots, AirMed is part of the University of Utah and contracts with AirMethods for its aviation services. University Hospital is home to the only burn center in the region and is one of the country’s top neurological critical care units, so it is the destination for patients suffering from those conditions, and its helicopter service provides patients who have life threatening injuries quick access to a trauma center.

Life Flight is owned and operated by Intermountain Healthcare and serves Primary Children’s Medical Center and other IHC bases throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Both AirMed and Life Flight are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). The newer medical helicopter transport companies based outside Utah are not CAMTS-accredited and have a different standard of operating procedures and accountability. One result of this is an increase in the number of helicopters flying in the airspace east of I-15.

Representatives from AirMed and Life Flight will continue to encourage the other medical transport helicopter companies serving the area to follow the flight paths they have identified as the preferred routes, but they cannot control them or provide enforcement.

Neighbors are encouraged to continue to report concerns about helicopters as they arise to:

Frankie Hurst, Program Manager
AirMed University of Utah

Bill Butts, Director,
Aviation Operations
Intermountain Life Flight


The new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex is scheduled to open in January. As the new home of the College of Education and the Tanner Dance Program, the 115,000 square-foot building will create the nation’s premier academic hub of multidisciplinary collaboration for education, the arts, and science.

The facility is made possible by a lead donation of $12 million from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation as well as many other generous donors. The building is named for Beverley Taylor Sorenson, who worked tirelessly and with passion to ensure that the arts were integrated into the education of Utah’s children. Sorenson passed away in May 2013.

John McNary, Director, Campus Planning

  • Northwest Parking Terrace

This new parking structure will be located on the southeast corner of 100 South and 1455 East, directly west of the Frederick Albert Sutton Building. The project has an anticipated completion date of summer 2014. The terrace will feature about 350 stalls and serve the northwest quadrant of campus, including performance venues such as Kingsbury and Gardner halls. The design of the building will reflect and enhance the surrounding structures and will be low enough to retain the views of the valley from the third and fourth floors of the Sutton Building.

  • S.J. Quinney College of Law

Located on the northeast corner of the intersection of University Street and 400 South, the new law school construction project is on schedule with an anticipated completion date of spring 2015. The facility, designed to attain LEED Platinum standards, will feature teaching and gathering spaces, a moot court, seminar space, and a rooftop garden. It also will reunite the law library with the school, and will have several public areas available for use to the wider community. As part of the project, historic Carlson Hall, built in 1938, was razed. The new law school building will include areas for the display of commemorative items from Carlson Hall, the U’s first residence hall. When construction on the new law building began, several parking spaces used by patrons of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre were ost. In mid-September, the construction site was condensed, and 200 parking stalls were added back.

  • Ambulatory Care Complex

Located between Mario Capecchi and Wasatch drives, the new Ambulatory Care Complex and associated parking structures, a joint project of University Hospitals and Clinics (UUHC) and IHC’s Primary Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), will be an advanced clinic facility for same-day procedures and administration for both groups. The first phase includes the clinical building for PCMC, and parking for both PCMC and UUHC with a capacity of about 1400 stalls in about 5 levels. That phase is scheduled to be competed in fall 2014. The second phase, scheduled for 2024, will include the clinic building for UUHC.

A complete review of construction projects being submitted for approval in 2014 will be presented at the annual meeting on January 16.


As an addendum to the 2008 Campus Master Plan, a campus parking and transportation study and a Research Park mobility study will look at parking and transportation issues in and around the campus area, and recommend integrated solutions for all transportation modes. It will identify comprehensive approaches to addressing pedestrian safety, road capacities, campus-oriented traffic and visitor traffic, and UTA TRAX and bus services.

Also examined will be the quantity and quality of parking options. This will include a study of parking structures vs. surface lots; appropriate parking ratios; and ways to make parking more sustainable, create more green space, and reduce heat islands.

The Research Park Mobility plan will address pedestrian and walkway and bicycle support nfrastructure; connectivity to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail; and way-finding signage. A final report will identify actions that the University can take to increase the viability and efficiency of existing and future parking options and transportation systems, as well as actions that the various jurisdictions could take if given the time, resources, and encouragement to advance or implement the improvements. In addition to the University, Salt Lake City Transportation Planning, Wasatch Front Regional Council, and the Utah Department of Transportation’s TravelWise program will be involved.

For more information, contact Eric Browning, campus master planner, at, or 801-585-5071.

Additional announcements

All are welcome

Monday, January 27, 2014
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
The Tower at Rice-Eccles Stadium, 6th Floor

Meeting Agenda
If you have traffic or transportation concerns you would like addressed at the meeting, or for additional information, contact Andy Rodgers by January 20: or call her at 801-585-3963.




If you’ve ever driven westbound on Sunnyside Ave., in the outside traffic lane between Foothill Drive and Guardsman Way, you may have found yourself trapped in backed-up traffic due to campus shuttle drivers stopped in front of the University Student Apartments to take a break (there is no bus pullout at that location). Changes were made January 2, and  Sunnyside shuttle drivers now are taking their break in a different location that does not impact other traffic. Drivers of the Green route take their break in front of Gardner Hall on Presidents Circle, and those driving the Purple route stop at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) in Research Park.

Reminder: Campus shuttles are free to all, including our neighbors. If you live south of campus and Research Park, near Sunnyside Ave., and want to take TRAX downtown but don’t want to drive to campus and deal with parking your car, consider catching a campus shuttle along Sunnyside Ave. for a free ride over to the Stadium TRAX station. This is a circular route so getting back to Sunnyside from campus will require a longer shuttle ride.

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