University News

Shakespeare Evicted by Forthcoming Prairie Dog Sanctuary

Published: April 01, 2015 | Author: Jessica Young | Category: Administration

Rendering for new Prairie Dog Sanctuary on SUU's campus. With construction underway for the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, Southern Utah University will be demolishing the beloved Adam's Memorial Theatre. Filling the void this treasured theatre will leave, University administrators are proud to announce the Hertig Prairie Dog Sanctuary & Education Center.

This decision was arrived at after lengthy discussions of how to better reflect the culture and ecosystem of southern Utah at the University. Stuart Jones, vice president of University Advancement, who has spearheaded this decision, said “This will be one of the best recruitment opportunities for the University by bringing tourists directly to campus to observe prairie dogs in their natural habitat.”

Named after the two-year SUU Student Association President Jeffrey Hertig, who decided to switch gears with the Student Center remodel and to put his time and resources into the new sanctuary.

SUU students have rallied behind the new change. Hertig said, “I think every student at SUU would agree that this place really does become a home for us.  And when the prairie dogs were ‘kicked out’ of their home at the Cedar City golf course, we as students took it upon ourselves to make sure they feel like they belong on our campus.”

The prairie dog, indigenous to the region, has been protected in southern Utah since 1973 as an endangered species. And though the dust-colored rodent has been a source of irritation for some locals, who say its protected status hinders development and economic growth, SUU officials feel there is no greater symbol for the SUU community than this small, short-tailed ground squirrel.

The new exhibit will feature prairie dogs living in a small, scenic communities similar to their natural habitats, in which students and tourists alike will be able to view this native animal. Adjacent to the outdoor viewing area will be a small educational center, staffed by students, where there will be information and presentations to educate and endear the visitors to the life of the common prairie dog. There will even be a small gift shop packed with prairie dog paraphernalia.

Construction will begin shortly and according to SUU Department of Facilities Management will be finished spring 2016. This quick construction is partly due to the prairie dog made tunnels already in place beneath the Adam's Theatre and surrounding grounds.

APRIL FOOLS! 

 



Contact Information:
Jessica Young
435-865-8696
jessicayoung2@suu.edu