The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility at the University of Wyoming that will allow for large-scale, high-technology research in energy and other fields.

The ceremony to launch construction of the High Bay Research Facility is set for 11 a.m. on Monday, March 9, at the site of the project, along North 19th Street north of UW’s Animal Science/Molecular Biology Building.

Among those scheduled to speak, and turn ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt, are Gov. Matt Mead, UW President Dick McGinity and UW Board of Trustees member Dave Bostrom.

According to the University, the High Bay Research Facility will contain about 90,000 square feet of high-bay and traditional laboratory space, and affiliated office and meeting areas. The research spaces will be for research into unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, part of UW’s Tier-1 Engineering Initiative, and will house the Center of Innovation for Flow in Porous Media, Improved Oil Recovery Laboratory, and Geomechanical/Petrology Laboratory. A Structures Research Laboratory also will be part of the new building.

The $53.5 million building is funded by $37.2 million in state dollars, pending final legislative action on the supplemental budget, and $16.3 million in private contributions, with an additional $9.2 million in private gifts for research equipment.

Completion of the project is expected by summer 2016.