Dedication of New Centennial Legacy Plaza Kicks off NIC Fest 2012
June 22, 2012
CASPER, Wyo. — A dedication ceremony for the new Rocky Mountain Power Centennial Legacy Plaza took place June 22 on the grounds outside of the Nicolaysen Art Museum, kicking off a fun weekend of activities at NIC Fest 2012. The event was held to celebrate Rocky Mountain Power’s gift to the community and commemorate the company’s 100 years of service.
A proclamation by Governor Matt Mead and a letter from Senator Mike Enzi were read at the dedication, recognizing Rocky Mountain Power’s centennial milestone. Mayor Kenyne Schlager also read a proclamation by the City of Casper.
“I urge the citizens of Casper to join with me in thanking Rocky Mountain Power on its 100-year anniversary for the company’s commitment to service for residents of Wyoming and Casper, and for this gift to our community in celebration of our shared history,” said Mayor Schlager.
“I’m pleased we’re able to provide this lasting gift to the community of Casper on our centennial, as a way to express appreciation for our opportunity to serve more than 135,000 customers throughout Wyoming,” said Richard Walje, Rocky Mountain Power president and CEO. “We’ll continue working together to keep electricity a good value and ensure safe and reliable electric service for generations of Wyoming customers to come.”
“This is a perfect location for the centennial legacy plaza because of the history of electric generation on the spot where The NIC currently stands, and the museum’s present day value to the Casper community and the state,” said Rita Meyer, Rocky Mountain Power’s Wyoming vice president. “We appreciate the efforts of all our partners who have helped make this project a reality.”
Rocky Mountain Power dates back to 1912. The utility’s history in eastern Wyoming began in 1925 when a predecessor company, Mountain States Power Co., took over operations of The Natrona Power Company in Casper. Mountain States Power merged with Pacific Power & Light in 1954, and since 2006 the utility has provided electric service in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho as Rocky Mountain Power.
The old Natrona Power Plant was one of the original power stations for the City of Casper and served the community until the mid-part of the 20th century. The building was then converted to a lumber store before being abandoned. An extensive renovation was completed in 1990, including the addition of a wing for galleries and collections storage, and the building became home to the Nicolaysen Art Museum.
“The distinctive red brick building was originally designed to generate energy for the region. Today it generates creative energy and serves as an anchor for Casper’s downtown and central corridor area,” said Connie Gibbons, the NIC’s director. “With the addition of this new Centennial Legacy Plaza, the memory of one of the community’s earliest power stations and Rocky Mountain Power’s contributions over the years will remain intact.”
Organizations that contributed to the development, planning, fabrication and installation of the Centennial Legacy Plaza include Rocky Mountain Power, the Nicolaysen Art Museum, City of Casper, Groathouse Construction, GSG Architecture, Lower & Company and Pepper Tank & Construction Company.
“The City of Casper has accepted this structure as an addition to the public gathering place that has been developed in conjunction with the Nicolaysen Art Museum,” said Mayor Schlager. “We are committed to the shared vision of all of the contributors that this plaza shelter becomes a community gathering place for generations of Casper citizens.
The Nicolaysen Art Museum serves as the only contemporary art museum in the state. Exhibitions, educational programs and outreach initiatives engage the community in dialogue with the arts and artists, while building bridges between Casper and other arts communities around the state, region and world.
A second legacy project in Wyoming is being supported by Rocky Mountain Power in Evanston, at the Roundhouse & Railyards, which also is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. An event is scheduled for June 29.
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