As the footprint of Boise State continues to expand, so does its growing list of alumni, facilitating a need for a new Alumni Association building.
"I've been with the Alumni Association for five years, and we've been working on it for at least that long," said Jennifer Wheeler, the association's interim director. "It has been a longtime dream."
But that dream takes a step closer to reality Monday, Sept. 10, when the City of Boise's Planning and Zoning Commission considers plans for a new 46,000-square-foot Alumni and Friends Center.
The association is currently squeezed into a small one-story building on University Boulevard between Denver and Grant streets. The new facility would be built in its place, adjacent to the neighborhood's single-family homes and Boise State's new Environmental Research Building.
"I think the university is looking at this as an east end gateway into the campus," said Wheeler.
The proposed center is halfway funded, according to Wheeler, and would cost between $14.5 and $15 million. The funds were raised by contributions from association members and private donations in partnership with the nonprofit Boise State Foundation. Both organizations are separate from the school.
"There's no state money in it, no student money in it, no university money in it," said Wheeler. "And it's on private land."
Approximately 3,600 dues-paying members make up the Boise State Alumni Association, of the more than 70,000 university graduates.
"The center would host class reunions, retirement dinners, any special events that anybody can dream up," said Wheeler.
With plans for a banquet hall, an outdoor plaza and an open-air banquet space on a fourth-floor patio, the building is designed to allow students and members of the public to rent space for special events.
"The money raised by using the building will go toward scholarships," said Wheeler.
And the revenue would include rent paid by university organizations that plan to share the building with the alumni association. Boise State's Communications and Marketing Department is expected to be one of the building's larger tenants. Even the Alumni Association will pay rent for its office space.
"The idea is for the building to serve as a living endowment," she said.
According to plans Wheeler will present to Planning and Zoning, the new four-story facility would stand at 70 feet tall at its highest point, facing Bronco Stadium.