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Obama Signs Energy, Water Bill, Tipping $1 million to SUU

November 06, 2009
Category: Administration


President Barack Obama signed the Senate Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill into law today and, with a stroke of his pen, granted $1 million to Southern Utah University for its new Science Complex, the Walter Maxwell Gibson Science Center. 

Referenced as the Southern Utah University Science Center Energy Efficiency Modernization and Enhancement Project in the bill championed by Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) as the leading Republican on the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, this federal money will be used to ensure SUU’s new science building makes use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and green building strategies. 

Of the 15 Utah projects within the subcommittee’s bill, SUU is one of just three state universities, including the University of Utah and Utah State University, to receive federal funding. Westminster College was also granted federal money from this bill. 

And with the University Just months out from breaking ground on the new science complex, SUU President Michael T. Benson expresses gratitude to Senator Bennett and his staff who, as Benson puts it, “have been a tremendous advocate of SUU generally and of the Gibson Science Center specifically.” 

In a release from the Senator’s office, Bennett said, “As the lead Republican on this appropriations bill, it was my goal to craft legislation that would promote a balanced energy plan for our country.” Bennett continued, “This bill also signals Congress's recognition of Utah as a leader in energy research. Utah's universities continue to achieve great success in their ongoing search for creative, ground-breaking solutions for our energy needs.” 

As SUU employs the use of energy efficient strategies in the new science building's modernization, the University will help meet federal goals for energy conservation. Additionally, this building, a hub for science-based academics at SUU, will enhance opportunities and resources for the very students who will soon be charged with the responsibility of continuing to explore and improve enhance the nation’s environmental impact and awareness. 

Says Benson, “We have worked hard to make a compelling case that SUU's track record in preparing hard science students for graduate and professional schools is second to none. This federal support will enable us to make the new Gibson Center even better for our faculty and students.” 

He continues, “We are extremely grateful to Senator Bennett and his office for their unstinting support through this nearly 3-year process. We are delighted with these federal funds and what they will mean to the success of this project.”

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