A row of dignitaries ceremonial break ground on the John and Marcia Price Computing and Engineering building
State and University leaders gathered for the ceremonial groundbreaking of The John and Marcia Price Computing and Engineering Building.

The field of computer science is growing at an unprecedented rate and the University of Utah is training the next generation of leaders.

On May 16, the U broke ground for the new John and Marcia Price Computing and Engineering Building, where that education will take place.

The new building will house the Kahlert School of Computing as well as other engineering programs, including artificial intelligence, FinTech, cybersecurity, and emerging areas. High-tech lab, classroom and office space will allow the College of Engineering to increase the number of students graduating from various programs by 500 or more a year.

Hosted by Richard B. Brown, H. E. Thomas Presidential Endowed Dean of the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering, the groundbreaking ceremony convened leaders and luminaries from across the state and university, including University of Utah President Taylor Randall, Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox, former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, U.S. Senate Candidate Brad Wilson, Kahlert Foundation Executive Vice President Heather Kahlert, Kahlert School Of Computing Director Mary Hall, University Of Utah Trustee Steve Price, and John Price, former U.S. Ambassador and one of the namesakes of the building and of the College of Engineering itself.

An architectural rendering of the John and Marcia Price Computing and Engineering Building.
An architectural rendering of the John and Marcia Price Computing and Engineering Building.

“In the realm of computer science, there exists an intense, worldwide competition for talent. To attract and retain the best and brightest at the University of Utah, we must provide them with a world-class environment” said John Price. “It is with this understanding and appreciation that Marcia and I have chosen to support this vital component driving our local economy.”

Dean Brown also emphasized the role that the Price College of Engineering has played in driving innovation and progress.

“Our graduates over the past 128 years have contributed to some of the most fundamental advances to our modern way of life. During those years, there have been a few inflection points which have accelerated the progress of the College and the State,” he said. “This is one of those landmark days.”

Currently, the U graduates roughly 50% of all computer science graduates in the Utah System of Higher Education. That number will only increase with the new facility and the programs it will house.

“This powerful collaboration among state and industry leaders along with our dedicated alumni and friends will provide a modern, high-tech environment for the leaders and innovators of tomorrow,” said University of Utah President Taylor Randall.

Dean Richard B. Brown and President Taylor Randall
Dean Richard B. Brown and President Taylor Randall

Utah lawmakers appropriated $118 million in state funding for the $194 million building. The rest of the building’s construction cost will be covered by private donations.

It is an important development for university’s future in enrollment, research and national reputation, noted Gov. Spencer Cox. It also will be key for the future of Utah’s economy as the state’s engineering and computer science workforce has generated 238,400 full and part-time jobs since 2020 and another $19.1 billion in earnings

Utah State Senate President J. Stuart Adams said the money is a good investment in the state’s future.

“This occasion is not just about bricks and mortar; it symbolizes our commitment to advancing education, fostering innovation, and fueling economic growth in our great state,” he said. “These investments not only drive technological advancements but also foster collaboration between academia and industry, leading to real-world solutions that benefit society as a whole.”