Will SBS Tower Carry Olympic Torchbearer?

The University of Utah will most likely be one of the sites in Salt Lake City to show off an Olympic banner.

However, it’s not for sure.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday that the Social and Behavioral Sciences tower at the U was one of 12 buildings in the city to bear a huge poster of athletes during the Olympics. The picture on the building will likely feature a torchbearer.

“I was so excited about that,” said Gwen Springmeyer, U associate director of Olympic Coordination.

According to College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Dean Steve Ott, the banner will go up over Thanksgiving Break. There was six-month advance notice, he said.

However, not everyone is fully aware of what is happening, or when.

“No one has contacted me,” said behavioral sciences tower manager Gene Izatt. “They told me they were going to do it, but I have no further information.”

According to U Director of Plant Operations Pete van der Have, while the building will most likely have a banner put up in the next little while, “the contract has not been signed yet” with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Negotiations are still underway between SLOC and university officials, van der Have said, who is part of the negotiating committee.

Also serving as chairman of the Olympic Operations Committee, van der Have believes any “reasonable person” would think it’s going to happen. The only negotiations left are in regard to construction.

Putting the banner up during Thanksgiving Break is the goal, according to van der Have. “We’re working in that direction,” he said.

A source from SLOC who spoke on condition of anonymity, affirmed that negotiations were still underway. “Nothing’s for sure,” the source said. However, displaying the banner seems likely.

It is “anticipated that [the picture] will be the torchbearer,” the source said.

Van der Have, however, would not confirm The Tribune’s report. That information is “not available,” he said.

According to van der Have, even after the negotiations are over, SLOC may not want to reveal what the picture will be.

“SLOC wants to retain the element of surprise,” he said.

Reactions from people working inside the building are generally positive, but uncertain.

According to Jean Rodgers, administrative assistant for communication disorders, there is not a lot known about the banner, however, “We’re proud to have it on our building,” she said.

According to van der Have, there is also no information available to the public as to whether or not the banner will obscure the view from the building.

“Initially, I thought you wouldn’t be able to see anything,” said Nancy Seegmiller, administrative assistant in the psychology department. “I assume we’ll be able to see out.” And if it obscured the view, she wouldn’t mind.

“It’s not even clear how much it’ll obscure the view,” said Don Strassberg, a professor of psychology.

“It wouldn’t bug me?It’s an ugly building,” he said.”It’ll make the building look pretty for three weeks.”

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