A grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for the new building is Friday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m., 320 N. Aggie Boulevard, in Vernal, followed by an open house throughout the afternoon. To kick off the center’s opening, the university is holding an all-day Energy Symposium Thursday, Sept. 23, featuring a public hearing hosted by an energy task force appointed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. The public hearing begins at 3 p.m. at Western Park, 302 E. 200 South, in Vernal. All events are free and open to the public.
Utah Public Radio will broadcast its daily “Access Utah” show from the center Friday, Sept. 24, from 9-10 a.m. Later, UPR staff members Teri Guy, Friend Weller and Tom Williams will greet listeners at the center beginning at 12:30 p.m. as part of the open house. Listeners may tune in to UPR at 91.5 FM or KUSK at 88.5 FM.
The building houses 11 classrooms equipped with interactive video capabilities necessary for USU’s Distance Education programs. This academic wing has space for student support services, including registration, advising and academic administration. Additionally, the Bingham Entrepreneurship wing of the center hosts entrepreneurs who wish to incubate their business endeavors in the entrepreneurial station.
“The Bingham Center will allow Utah State to aggressively and strategically pursue its research interests and opportunities in areas of the state where vast energy resources and new business opportunities exist,” said USU President Stan L. Albrecht.
In fall 2007, Utah entrepreneur and businessman Marc Bingham and his wife, Debbie, donated $15 million for the building. The university, recognizing the $15 million would go a long way, began raising matching contributions from a variety of sources for the building that would cost $23.4 million dollars. Factoring in a $5 million land donation by Bob Williams of 138 acres, roads and other infrastructure enhancements, the venture exceeds $40 million.
As part of the Thursday, Sept. 23, Energy Symposium, a public hearing from Gov. Herbert’s Energy Task Force begins at 3 p.m. to receive public input relative to Herbert’s 10-year energy plan for the state of Utah. Ted Wilson, senior advisor to the governor and chair of the Energy Task Force, will chair the hearing and be assisted by members of the task force. Private citizens, government officials, industry and all sectors of the eastern Utah community are invited. The hearing is intended to draw input from Uintah, Duchesne, Daggett, Carbon, Emery, Grant, San Juan and Wasatch counties. More information on “Energy Initiatives and Imperatives: Utah’s 10-year Strategic Energy Plan” can be found online (www.energy.utah.gov/governorsenergyplan/subcommittees.html).
The afternoon session titled “The Western Energy Corridor and Utah Energy Update” begins at 1 p.m. and features Michael Hagood, director of program development for Idaho National Laboratory; Paul Hacking, president of Uintah Basin Applied Technology College; Jason Berry, state energy program manger from the Utah Geological Survey; and Gary Aho, chairman of the National Oil Shale Association.
For more information about the ribbon cutting or Energy Symposium, contact Behunin at 435-722-1766, firstname.lastname@example.org or Marilyn Manwaring, 435-722-1766, email@example.com. Questions regarding the public hearing may be directed to Behunin or Ashlee Buchholz with the governor’s office, 801-538-1621, firstname.lastname@example.org.