CWC looking at Dept. of Health property for new Lander center; Board puts Sinks Canyon housing on hold

(Riverton, Wyo.) – It was revealed last night that Central Wyoming College is working to procure land near Lander owned by the Wyoming Department of Health for a future new Lander center.

The current Lander center is located on the 400 block of Main Street. CWC has been working to find a place in the Lander area to improve upon the space it has now.

“This is a piece of ground with the Department of Health that we have secured right now,” Dennis Egge of the State’s Construction Office told the CWC Board of Trustees last night.

New processes have been put into place for land transfers between state agencies, and Egge said that the transfer is in the works. “The Legislature will have to make some decisions on it,” he said. CWC’s use of the land, the exact location of which has not been revealed, would be under a 75 year lease.

“The state has the funds in place for the architectural services,” he continued, adding that by spring 2014 the college will have a good idea of the programmatic needs for the new facility so structural planning can begin.

CWC’s Vice President for Administrative Services Ron Granger could not be immediately reached for clarifying questions on Thursday.

He told the board on Wednesday that he would be bringing the board bonding options in July to help fund the project.

The board took no action on the Lander center update. During its May meeting, the board approved moving forward with issuing bonds for multiple projects, $700,000 of which would be for the Lander center construction. (Read more about that meeting here.)

During the July meeting, the board will make a final approval of the bonds. The bonds include $3.4 million for construction of new residential facilities at the Sinks Canyon Center and a remodel of apartments on the Riverton campus.

However, the Board on Wednesday night voted to not move forward with the Sinks Canyon construction for the time being.

The low bid for the work came in at $1.94 million from SDI in Lander. Granger said the college had budgeted $2.1 million for the whole project. With soft costs (like architect fees, permits, furniture, etc.) he said the whole thing would cost $2.481 million. “I’d recommend we postpone this project and not accept this bid,” he said.

“I think we need to look at it again … and value engineer all this as much as we can,” Granger said.

He noted that the money from the bonds would be available for 18 months. Trustee Colton Crane said he had concerns with waiting longer to start the project, as construction costs could increase. Crane later agreed that Granger had thoroughly looked into the options.

Granger noted that housing for students who were supposed to stay at Sinks Canyon next semester is still being explored. Ideas considered are rennovating existing cabins or turning the orchard house into lodging.

The board voted unanimously to put the Sinks Canyon housing project on hold.

The board also awarded a $934,500 bid to Shepard Construction Inc. of Rawlins for the remodel of apartments on the Riverton campus. Granger said the remodel would lend to more occupancy because they currently are in “very bad shape.” He said the college would also be able to charge a little more for the apartments than they are currently.

6 Comments

  1. Chris Krassin

    It's always amazing that when it comes to any thing for Lander CWC puts it on hold. But if its for the Riverton Campus lets spend spend spend. Lander more than helps pay for this CWC and at times have even carried the vote to make sure money is available even when Riverton votes it down. Now when it time for some of that money to be spent here it is put on hold. Without the Outdoor education which is entire because of Lander and the NOLS program CWC would be a two bit JC school. Let's move the outdoor's program here to the Sinks Canyon Center where it belongs and move forward with building the Lander Campus.

  2. Josh Oakleaf

    Here, Here!

  3. Albert Ross Meeker

    Chris:

    I'm a fellow Landerite, but I'm not buying into your premise that Rivertonians are somehow to blame because the CWC Board voted UNANIMOUSLY to delay funding for residential construction at the Sinks Canyon Center. You do know that Lander residents comprise part of the board, don't you? Let the board do its job; it may just save the taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars while still getting the project completed in the future.

    As or CWC being nothing but a two-bit junior college without Outdoor Education and NOLS, you couldn't be more wrong. I think the Outdoor Education program is great, and it's lured a number of out-of-state students to CWC. However, the CWC RN program has been, and continues to be, CWC's crown jewel.

  4. Chris Krassin

    Robert
    Did I say the Rivertonians were to blame I say that is seems like that when it comes to spend on the Riverton Campus that there is no limit to the money or any delays. I don't know why this is the case. I also made I very accurate assessment about Lander carrying the vote when Riverton vote has not done so. You however are probably right about the Nursing School.

    I won't take back my assessment of the level of it as a JC School and that the majority of student from out state come here to be in Lander to be a part of NOLS and the Outdoor program. Explain to me however the reason why a student must live on the Riverton Campus the first year of this program in order for them to live on the Sinks Canyon Campus. The only reason I see it is so that the Riverton Campus can claim the number for the Riverton Dorms. This then minimizes the need to build more dorms at the Sink Canyon Campus and keeps the control of program in Riverton. I have talked with many of these student about this and they do not like it at the Riverton campus and want to be here in Lander.

  5. Jackie Hart Meeker

    I have to agree with you on the need for residential construction at the Sinks Canyon Center. If I were a student enrolled in the Outdoor Education program I would want to be living in Sinks Canyon, not Riverton. With distance education, and the downtown CWC facility, there is no reason why all core curriculum requirements couldn't be completed in lander. The CWC Board sees the need for housing at Sinks Canyon, so that's a good start.

  6. Albert Ross Meeker

    Whoops, I share a home computer with my wife (Jackie Hart Meeker), so I wanted to make clear that the above response was mine, not hers. She may share my views or she may not, but I must set the record straight.

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