Planned Hatch Center to partner with the University of Utah, build facility on South Temple

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Retiring Senator Orrin Hatch was honored at the Utah Republican Nominating Convention Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Maverik Center.

Washington • The University of Utah will sell a parking lot in Salt Lake City to a foundation building a center to honor the legacy of Sen. Orrin Hatch, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.

The Hatch Foundation is set to announce Wednesday a partnership between the forthcoming Hatch Center and the U. as well as a deal to erect a new facility across the street from the Thomas S. Monson Center, the U. reception and meeting facility in a historic mansion at 411 E. South Temple that is named after the former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints president.

The U. also owns a parking lot across the street on South Temple worth about $520,000, according to tax records.

The Hatch Foundation said it would announce a partnership with a “major research university” but wouldn’t say which Utah school would be involved.

The announcement event is being held at the U.’s Monson Center.

The Hatch Center, as envisioned by Hatch supporters, would honor the legacy of Utah’s long-serving senator who is retiring early next year. The center will house Hatch’s archives from his 42 years in the Senate as well as offer forums to help train future leaders and discussions of policy approaches.

Among those scheduled to be on hand for the Wednesday announcement are Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO, who is also chairman of the Hatch Foundation; and Kem Gardner, chairman of the Gardner Co. development firm and a Hatch Foundation board member.

Trent Christensen, the foundation’s director, declined to confirm the U. would be the new center’s partner.

The foundation, which is raising millions of dollars toward building the center, has come under fire previously for not voluntarily disclosing its donors. While some lobbying groups have filed reports with the Senate of donations to the foundation, that’s only a small percentage of the contributions fueling the center’s bank account.

The foundation has raised nearly $6 million, according to its latest tax filing. As a nonprofit, the group does not have to list its nonlobbyist donors.

A pamphlet introducing the Hatch Center and seeking donations lists options for gifts from $10,000 to more than $1 million.