Attendance exceeded expectations as more than 100 people gathered yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 4) for rededication of the Watt Agricultural Center as a one-stop facility for University of Wyoming services in Sheridan County. University Extension Educator Scott Hininger said plans had been made for 80.
University President Dick McGinity said the Watt Center, which the university purchased in 2012, is a perfect example of the partnership between the university and Wyoming's community colleges. McGinity opened the rededication and ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 11 o'clock.
The Watt Center combines the university's outreach center, extension service and ag experiment station under one roof. The president said the facility is an example of what the university is trying to do statewide.
Other speakers included Whitney Benefits President Tom Kinnison, who said it was “spectacular” to have the number of people who turned out in yesterday's biting cold and snow. Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young called the ceremony an extraordinary event in the history of the college. He praised the Northern Wyoming Community College board of trustees – which administers Sheridan College and its Gillette and Johnson County campuses – as a group of people who are willing to take risks. The Sheridan College president said the three counties included in the district – Sheridan, Johnson and Campbell – together cover 10,000 square miles, an area geographically larger than 8 U.S. States.
In addition to college and university trustees and at least two other members of the Whitney Benefits board, those attending the ceremonies included three of Sheridan County's legislators, Sheridan County commissioners, and Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey. The even was followed by tours of the facility. The Watt Center also hosted an open house yesterday afternoon from 12:30 until 3.