UW Gateway Center Brings People Together
A gathering place for all -- that is what the University of Wyoming’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center will be.
With more than 60,000 square feet, it will have spaces for business-related events such as board meetings and student recruitment, but it also will host social events such as dinners or graduations.
As UW’s gateway, it will be a place for students, faculty and alumni to connect with the university and one another, and also will be a place where visitors can meet with friends and family while learning the history of and connecting with everything that makes UW and the state of Wyoming a wonderful place.
“This is going to become a much-visited national facility,” says Mary Ivanoff, vice president for donor relations and administration at the UW Foundation.
Need a place to recruit students for your corporation? The building has 10 career service rooms, which can be used by university corporate partners and other companies to interview students for employment. Unable to make it to campus? The rooms are equipped with video conferencing capabilities that are embedded into DIRTT walls (from the company Do It Right This Time) that allow the technology to be mounted seamlessly onto the surface.
Do you prefer a face-to-face meeting? The career service rooms have comfortable furnishings, so having a personal connection between potential employees and employers is easy. These career service rooms also are multipurpose: When they are not being used for recruitment purposes, they are a great space for smaller or one-on-one meetings, either in person or through the teleconferencing equipment.
Need a larger meeting space? There are five conference rooms that can be used for advisory board meetings or other meetings that require business-oriented space.
Need a space for your employees to learn job skills? A training room on the second floor offers employees training that will ensure they have the proper skills they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
“One of the visions for this facility was that it would provide for the university and all the constituents within the university a state-of-the-art, unique space,” says Ivanoff. “We believe the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center affords amazing flexibility in a single space perhaps found nowhere else on campus or in Laramie.”
The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center can meet the needs of any event. The spaces within the building are one-of-a-kind and incredibly flexible. They can be configured for PowerPoint presentations or dynamic speeches for large or small groups, as well as cater to intimate lunches. Centrally located, the center is easily accessible and has near and ample parking.
The centerpiece of the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center event spaces will be the large and well-appointed ballroom. It has the ability to seat 600 people for dinner and can accommodate more than 800 for standing or theater-style events.
“It’s the largest ballroom in Laramie,” says Josh Carroll, facilities manager of the center. “Space-wise, it just makes sense to have your event there if you’re going to do a large event.”
Events ranging from graduations for some of the smaller colleges to black-tie events to career fairs can be held in the ballroom space. The room can be divided into four equal parts, with one of the sections able to be split again, creating five distinct spaces that can accommodate parties of varying sizes.
Inside the McMurry Family Legacy Hall is an area that can be used for dinners or receptions that can seat up to 120 people. There also are two atriums that can be used for cocktail parties or as reception areas. Weather permitting, events can be held in one of the two outdoor spaces.
Events on the north plaza near War Memorial concourse can occur both inside and outside. This space connects to the ballroom, so the doors can be opened, allowing guests to flow easily and effortlessly from one area to the other. With proximity to War Memorial Stadium, the outdoor space can be used on game days for various events and will have plenty of room to set up tents.
“One of the great things about the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center is the modern amenities we’ll have,” Carroll says. “This is a state-of-the-art building with functional space, the ability to go from inside to outside with no problem, along with easy access to lots of parking.”
Not only can the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center accommodate fairly large groups, but right across the street is the UW Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn. Combined, these areas could cater to even more people, making it an ideal location to bring bigger conferences and events to the Laramie area.
“This could benefit both students and the community by bringing in experts who are willing to impart their knowledge to others,” Ivanoff says.
The UW Foundation is brainstorming other events to ensure that the Gateway Center is a place for all. With Christmas right around the corner after the grand opening, there may be a community Christmas tree or the ability for kids to visit Santa. Weddings or reunions are among other possibilities.
“We hope to make the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center a cornerstone for the community,” says Ivanoff. “We hope that, at a minimum, the first year we can turn the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center into not just a campus space but also something really special for the entire Laramie community.”
The center is a remarkable statement regarding the impact of private fundraising on Wyoming’s university. It is funded completely through private support, including a $10 million commitment from Marian H. Rochelle to name the center and a $6 million commitment from Mick and Susie McMurry through the McMurry Foundation to name the center’s two most prominent visitors’ spaces: the McMurry Foundation Grand Atrium and the McMurry Foundation UW Legacy Hall.
The Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
To learn more, go to www.uwyo.edu/gatewaycenter.
Workers continue to make progress on Legacy Hall at the University of Wyoming’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. (UW Foundation)