OGDEN, Utah – The grand opening of a new Weber State University building in the heart of downtown (2314 Washington Blvd.) will continue to strengthen ties between the community and university.
The ribbon cutting for the 18,000-square-foot building, known as Weber State Downtown, will occur Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m. Guided tours, live music and free food from local restaurants will follow the ribbon cutting. The event also will feature door prizes and technology giveaways.
The building is set up for co-working — a collaborative approach to business and entrepreneurship that encourages serendipitous and creative interactions.
"The building will be a mecca for innovation,” said Alex Lawrence, WSU vice provost of innovation and economic development. “Startups, entrepreneurs, students and other community members now have a world-class, cutting-edge, technology-enabled location where they can meet and work. Weber State Downtown will serve as an epicenter for economic development, and tech companies and entrepreneurs will be drawn to Ogden because of it.”
The facility also brings the university back to its origins, said WSU President Charles A. Wight.
“Weber State opened in downtown Ogden nearly 125 years ago,” Wight said. “We’re delighted to once again have a strong presence so close to where it all began. At Weber State Downtown, bright minds will dream up many brilliant ideas that will impact our university, our community and our world.”
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said Weber State Downtown is one more facet of a solid relationship between his city and the university.
“We want Weber State students to look to Ogden as a great place to live, work, play and raise a family after they graduate, and I think this is a great step in that direction,” he said.
The ground floor will house a WSU Campus Store and café with gourmet drinks and pastries. Archways with glass garage doors will separate the campus store from the café’s dining area, which can be used during after-hour university functions and partner events. The Campus Store will feature WSU merchandise, Weber Wear clothing, name-brand technology products and an Apple Authorized Service Center. Guests to the open house will get a sneak peak of the WSU Campus Store, which will open officially on Jan. 7, the date of university’s 125th anniversary.
The second and third floors will feature an open layout and function as headquarters for Startup Ogden, which promotes software development, entrepreneurs and new business. The second floor will contain a conference room equipped for state-of the-art meetings and presentations and several “living room” areas with modern furniture, televisions and game stations that provide a relaxed, cooperative atmosphere. WSU’s Small Business Development Center and Ogden City’s Business Information Center also will be housed on that floor and will continue to provide training, consulting and referral services to area business owners and prospective entrepreneurs.
A 40-person classroom with new iMacs and an 80-inch screen will enable local professionals and WSU faculty to teach credit and non-credit Continuing Education courses that are tech related.
“We are delighted to be a part of this partnership and look forward to serving the business community in this new, more accessible location,” said Bruce Davis, vice provost and dean of Continuing Education.
The third floor is dedicated solely to open co-working space.
Fiber Internet will be offered throughout the building.
Bike commuters can also take advantage of bike racks, lockers and showers in the facility.
The grand opening also will kick off Startup Weekend Ogden, (www.ogden.startupweekend.org), the local branch of an international event that helps entrepreneurs and technologists build software companies over a 54-hour period. Startup Ogden, a tech community partner and building tenant, hosts the event.
Community members or small business owners will be able to use facilities in the building for a fee. A fee of $50 per month provides access to the building, $75 per month provides access and dedicated working space and $99 per month provides access, dedicated working space and use of the showers and lockers. Those interested in gaining access can sign up during the grand opening or after Jan. 6 in the location’s WSU Campus Store.
Visit http://weber.edu/downtown for more information about the facility.
Links to high-resolution images:
Alex Lawrence, vice provost of Innovation and Economic Development
801-626-8940 • email@example.com
Bruce Davis, vice provost and dean of Continuing Education
801-395-3482 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Shane Farver, executive communication coordinator
801-626-7439 • email@example.com