A parking lot on South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City has been designated as the spot for a building to commemorate Orrin Hatch’s seven terms in the U.S. Senate. In partnership with the University of Utah, the Hatch Center will serve as an archive for the senator’s work as well as a political “incubator.”
Senator Hatch told reporters Wednesday that this is a time of unprecedented polarization in American politics. He hopes the future Hatch Center will be a place where political conversations won’t be so heated.
“Together we can restore civility, respect and bipartisanship to the public square," Hatch said.
The center will be open to students at the University of Utah interested in politics as well as future "Hatch Fellows."
Much of the building will house Hatch’s legislative records. Kind of like a presidential library. In fact, Hatch made that connection himself, pointing out that presidential libraries typically only cover 4 to 8 years of service.
“With 42 years of service, I have quite a bit of history that I’d like to share with my fellow Utahns and those who come here from out of state," Hatch said.
Hatch was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976. He will be stepping down at the end of his current term next January.
Construction for the Hatch Center will be funded by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation and is expected to begin this summer.