U Donates Land Near Stadium For Olympic Cauldron Fountain

Olympic and U officials announced the creation of an Olympic Cauldron Park to be built on the southwest corner of Rice-Eccles Stadium on Wednesday.

The park would showcase the 72-foot tall cauldron built which held the Olympic and Paralympic flame for the duration of the 2002 Games. A reflection pool, fountain and a list of medal-winning athletes will also be located in the park.

A previous donation of $2.1 million from the Eccles Foundation to the Salt Lake Organizing Committee will provide the funds for construction.

U President Bernie Machen agreed to donate half of an acre of land to the state for the monument.

“We’re delighted to be able to keep the cauldron on campus,” Machen said.

Through an agreement signed in 1995, the U received the property rights to the cauldron, but lacked the funds it needed to create such a monument.

“It would have taken years for us to raise the kind of funding we would need to do this,” Machen said. “It will be a great thing for the community as well as the campus.”

Construction is expected to start during the summer and be completed before October 2002. Machen suspects that nearly 12 parking spaces will be lost to provide the property.

“Everyone who comes to Utah wanting to see a part of the Olympics will be able to drive up to the U and look at it,” said Mitt Romney, former SLOC president and CEO. “It will be a signature element of the Games.”

The announcement came during yesterday’s SLOC Board of Trustees meeting.

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