State leaders celebrate the launch of new Wassmuth Center

Philip E. Batt
Posted at 3:04 PM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-27 13:25:53-04

BOISE, Idaho — Local leaders and former state leaders joined together Wednesday to sign a beam and launch the construction of the new Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and watch the old building be torn down.

The new building has been named in honor of former Republican Governor Philip E. Batt to recognize his personal and professional commitment of protecting and promoting human rights in Idaho throughout his career.

“The building is not being named in honor of a governor, it’s being named in honor of a person whose personal professional commitment to human rights should inspire us all,” Executive Director for the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Dan Prinzing said.

Philip E. Batt
Former Idaho Gov. Philip E. Batt

Batt, born in Wilder, served as Idaho’s Governor from 1995 to 1999. He also served as Chair of the Idaho Republican Party, Lieutenant Governor and a member of the Idaho Legislature for many years.

While serving the state, Batt made contributions to human rights in Idaho as well as sponsoring the creation of the Idaho Human Rights Commission.

“For over two decades, the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights has proudly served Idaho classrooms, companies, and communities. The scope of our programming, resources, and services has grown dramatically. Now it is time to look to the future,” Prinzing said. “The Philip E. Batt building will stand as a one-of-a-kind human rights education center within the footprint of a one-of-a-kind human rights memorial devoted to promoting respect for human dignity and diversity through education.”

Gov. Little
Gov. Brad Little signs the beam to kick off construction of the new Wassmuth Center.

The Center’s “Building Our Future” campaign to fund the construction has raised $4.8 million and staff is still accepting donations.

“Having a center like this in the heart of Boise, especially in times so trying like this, it’s so meaningful. To have people from such a variety and diversity of party and backgrounds to be here to support human rights in Idaho. Very significant,” Sen. Melissa Wintrow (D)-Boise said.

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