Three-Year Degree Initiative Effects on Cedar City

After the news of SUU’s proposed three-year track funded by the state legislation broke two weeks ago, there have been mixed responses to the long-term effects this change may have on student’s lives. However, the question on how it may alter the lives of other Cedar City community members remains.

The greatest expected change would be an increase in population, especially during the summer months. According to the United States census, Cedar City has an estimated population of 31,806 and an average annual growth rate of 2.2 percent over the last five years. Though there is no official projection into how much these numbers will rise due to the trimester schedule, there is speculation of rapid growth.

With the city’s recent request for the rezoning of property development on Cross Hollow Road, the future residential area of apartments, condos and houses could accommodate an increased number of incoming students. What is surprising, is the rezoning proposal states that this area could increase Cedar City’s population by a whopping 40%

More residents might cause grocery stores to restock more regularly, which could result in fresher produce, but this would also require more or larger shipments.

Though normally not an issue, the future construction in the Virgin River Gorge, announced earlier in the week, will cause semis to take long detours coming north with those shipments. These delays might affect produce quality.

The increase in Cedar City residents could produce some positive outcomes. Local business might suspect an increase in customers. Especially with more students around during the summer, Cedar’s festivals could also receive additional visitors and attention. The Shakespeare Festival and other city-wide events would be happy to have more students at their festivities.

“The changes [will open] up new possibilities to the Festival,” Tyler Morgan, the director of marketing and communications of the Shakespeare Film Festival, said. “It gives us the opportunity to look at how we are producing our seasons and how we can provide an even better experience for our guests.”

A more prevalent campus life during the warm months may alter the current peacefulness of Cedar summers, but the discussion of whether this is ultimately good or bad might be up to each individual.

Story By: Ansleigh Mikesell
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