August 3, 2006 — Two years and three months after breaking ground for the new John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah, the grand opening of what will be the largest most comprehensive eye center between the Mississippi River and the west coast will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 3, 2006.
The event will include remarks by Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.; Moran Eye Center principal benefactor and namesake, John A. Moran; CEO of Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas and Chair of the Moran Advisory Board, Steve Wynn; University President, Michael K. Young; Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, A. Lorris Betz; and CEO of the Moran Eye Center, Dr. Randall J Olson. The speakers and ribbon cutting will be followed by public tours of the new facility.
The new Moran Eye Center is being called the gateway to the University Health Sciences because of its location. It is the first building visitors see as they approach the Health Sciences campus, and is situated directly across from the final TRAX stop, where 7,000 people enter the Health Sciences campus each day.
Designed by Salt Lake City architectural firm FFKR and built by Utah-based Layton Construction, the new Moran Eye Center is connected by a new walking bridge to the current bridge between Primary Children’s Medical Center and the University Hospital. The eye center replaces the 82,500 square-foot John A. Moran Eye Center that opened in 1993. That building will be used by the University to house other health science departments.
The Moran Eye Center and its 12 community clinics received more than 100,000 patient visits this last year by individuals from 42 states and 10 countries. Since 1993, the number of faculty at the Moran Eye Center has nearly doubled to 43. The Moran Eye Center is world renowned for research, education, and clinical expertise in the areas of artificial vision, ophthalmic genetics, retinal cell communication, retinal cell transplantation and vision restoration.
“The new Moran Eye Center is a focusing point for our mission, which is that no one suffering from a blinding condition should be without hope, understanding and treatment.” says Dr. Randall Olson, CEO of the Moran Eye Center and Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “This new facility adds 40% more patient care space and will more than triple the amount of laboratory space available. Once dispersed throughout the University of Utah Campus in a half dozen buildings, we have gathered our researchers together in this new state-of-the-art building to carry out synergistic scientific research and clinical trials. We believe this effort will literally help bring sight to those who cannot see.”
The new building retains the name of successful U of U alumnus turned New York industrialist John A. Moran. Mr. Moran led the development campaign in February of 2001 with an $18 million gift followed by a generous gift of $10 million from the Skaggs family through the ALSAM Foundation. Other major donors include Orson and Dora White, Grace E. Stilwell, Ida W. Smith, Research to Prevent Blindness, Randall and Ruth Olson, Joseph H. and Esther Kelley, Martha Ann Dumke Healy, Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch, George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Janice and Thomas D. Dee II, Edmund W. and Carol B. Dumke, Ian and Annette Cumming, William H. and Patricia W. Child, Estelle Albaugh, and many other generous donors, as well as the faculty and staff of the Moran Eye Center.
For more information, or if you would like to schedule interviews with Dr. Olson, Mr. Moran, or Mr. Wynn, please contact Steve Brown, Communications Manager, John A. Moran Eye Center at 801-587-7693.