The University of Wyoming is set to celebrate the opening of its new High Bay Research Facility this week.

The grand opening ceremonies will take place Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 16 and 17, at 651 N. 19th Street in Laramie, adjacent to UW’s Central Energy Plant.

The 90,000 square foot High Bay Research Facility houses traditional and high-bay research laboratories with state-of the-art equipment, as well as offices and meeting areas. The School of Energy Resources and the College of Engineering and Applied Science will both share the facilities.

UW Spokesman Chad Baldwin said the name of the facility -High Bay- refers to the very large doors on the facility that will accommodate large research projects.

"For example, big chunks of earth can be moved in to the building for analysis," Baldwin said. "You need big doors to get that into the building."

Baldwin said the doors allowed some of the very large research equipment to be placed in the facility as well, particularly for the research of Dr. Mohammad Piri of the School of Energy Resources. Baldwin said Piri required very large equipment for his research, some of which is at the nano-scale.

"There are big doors for big stuff, as well as space for big machines for research at the nano-scale," Baldwin said.

Baldwin said the building cost a total of $68 million to build. UW raised $15 million for the facility through corporate partnerships and $15 million was matched by the Wyoming Legislature. UW raised an additional $10.5 million in instrumentation and technology, which also was doubled by the Wyoming Legislature. Construction of the facility began in March 2015.

The grand opening events include a barbeque for early arrivals on August 16. At the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. A technical symposium, titled “A New Era in Reservoir Characterization,” will be hosted in the morning before the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 17.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. Governor Matt Mead will speak at the event, as well as Wyoming Senate President Eli Bebout, UW President Laurie Nichols, UW Board of Trustees President John MacPherson, Hess Corp. President and CEO Greg Hill, School of Energy Resources Executive Director Mark Northam and UW Foundation President Ben Blalock. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

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