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Spori Building, BYU-Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho | by Ken Lund
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Spori Building, BYU-Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho

Brigham Young University–Idaho (BYU–Idaho or BYU–I) is a private university located in Rexburg, Idaho. Founded in 1888, the university is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), transitioned from a junior college to a four-year institution in 2001, and was known for the greater part of its history as Ricks College.


BYU-Idaho offers programs in liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, management, and performing arts. The university is broadly organized into six colleges, and its parent organization, the Church Educational System, sponsors sister schools in Utah and Hawaii. The university's focus is on undergraduate education, hosting 18 associate and over 70 bachelor's degree programs; and it operates using a three-semester system also known as "tracks".

Students at BYU-Idaho are required to follow an honor code, which mandates behavior in line with LDS teachings (e.g., academic honesty, adherence to dress and grooming standards, and abstinence from extramarital sex and from the consumption of drugs and alcohol). Approximately 99% of the university's students are members of the LDS Church, and a significant percentage of the student body take an 18- (women) or 24-month (men) hiatus from their studies to serve as missionaries. A BYU-Idaho education is generally less expensive than similar private universities, due largely to a significant funding by LDS Church tithing funds, helping keep tuition rates low.


Since becoming a four-year institution, BYU-Idaho no longer hosts intercollegiate athletic teams but instead organizes intramural programs, as part of the larger student activity program.


The campus sits on a hill overlooking the city of Rexburg and the Snake River Valley and includes nearly forty major buildings and residence halls on over 400 acres (1.6 km2).[10] Off-campus facilities include a Livestock Center and the Henry’s Fork Outdoor Learning Center near Rexburg, the Outdoor Learning Center at Badger Creek in Idaho’s Teton Basin, and the Natural Science Center in Island Park, Idaho. The Teton Lodge and Quickwater Lodge near Victor, Idaho, are utilized as student leadership and service centers.

The main campus includes a planetarium, an arboretum, wildlife museums, and a large family history center. The school also operates several athletic fields and facilities around campus, which are now used as part of the Activities program, an alternative to intercollegiate sports. Facilities include a baseball field, football and track stadium, tennis courts, as well as the John Hart Physical Education building, which with 4,000 seats in its main gym was used for athletic events, graduation, and concerts, and weekly campus devotional. The building also includes a small field house, pool, auxiliary gymnasiums, racquetball courts, and a workout area for students. On December 17, 2010, the BYU-Idaho Center was dedicated and opened to students. The 435,000-square-foot (40,400 m2) building contains a 15,000-seat auditorium and a multi-purpose area large enough for 10 full basketball courts.


In support of the fine arts and entertainment, the campus also includes the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall, which houses the acclaimed Ruffatti organ, the third largest organ owned by the LDS Church after those housed in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and Conference Center, respectively. KBYI-FM, a 100,000 watt public radio station, also broadcasts to eastern Idaho and parts of Wyoming and Montana from the campus.

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Taken on August 7, 2007