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Jason Olson, Deseret News
Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks to the crowd Tuesday at UVSC's new library, the Digital Learning Center, on campus in Orem. The college will celebrate the opening of the building on July 1, when the school officially transitions to university status.

OREM — Utah Valley State College's new energy-efficient library is the first building in the state to be constructed under Utah's High Performance Building program, announced Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. during a ceremony at UVSC on Tuesday.

"We're making a bit of history here," Huntsman said, speaking to a group of about 50 dignitaries on the fourth floor of the school's yet-to-open library, called a Digital Learning Center.

The governor set a goal in May 2006 for the state to increase energy proficiency 20 percent by 2015.

Huntsman said he is "honored and delighted" that UVSC's new library is "consistent in keeping with the theme that we are trying to create for the state in respect to energy efficiency."

The library is 65 percent to 90 percent more energy efficient than buildings constructed to former ordinary building codes. The library will save $100,000 per year in utility costs, he said.

"This is a major step in the right direction," Huntsman said.

UVSC's $48 million library is 190,000 square feet and spans five floors. The construction project is on schedule and within budget, according to Michael Freeman, UVSC library director.

The college will celebrate the opening of the building on July 1, when the school officially transitions to university status.

State energy adviser Dianne Nielson said the building sets an example for the rest of Utah — for the public, for commercial entities and for industries in the state. The structure gives them "a template they also can follow."

"Leading by example, we can make a huge difference," Nielson said.

The building includes a myriad of energy-saving aspects, ranging from simple processes to high-tech devices, including: high-performance glass that lets in light but cuts out heat; motion sensors that shut off lights if the space is unoccupied; a process that uses excess heat to warm other areas of the building; and panels that block light in the summer but allow for warming light in the winter.

UVSC President William A. Sederburg said, "We are truly meeting the needs of the 21st century."

Rep. Stephen D. Clark, R-Provo, said the building is a beginning in realizing energy is not cheap and that people need to start using energy wisely.

"We have always been green here at UVU. We will continue to be green and we will build our buildings green," Clark said, also alluding to the school's official colors of green and gold.

Gregg Buxton, director of the Division of Facilities Construction and Management, asked those in the audience to raise their hands if they were taxpayers. "Thank you," he said. "You have made this dream possible.

"This is a great day for the state of Utah," he continued. "And it's a beginning of a new era of buildings in the state of Utah."

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