The awarding of a construction bid and groundbreaking of the Wind River Job Corps Center helped FCSD#25 win approval for a larger elementary school. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi was the keynote speaker at the groundbreaking ceremony August 9th. (Ernie Over photo)

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The awarding of a construction bid and the groundbreaking for the Wind River Job Corps Center aided Fremont County School District #25’s request for additional classrooms in a new elementary school now on the drawing board.

“The certainty of the Job Corps Center coming to town helped us get space for an additional 40 students for the new school,” Superintendent Terry Snyder said Monday. “Our new school was originally proposed for 320 students, but the School Facilities Department has authorized that it be enlarged to house 360 students.” ┬áThe superintendent also said the new Riverton school has been placed on the state’s budget list for construction in 2015.

FCSD#25 B&W logoSnyder said the additional space will allow the district to achieve a state mandated goal of a student teacher ratio of 16:1 when the new building opens. Presently, due to physical constraints, FCSD#25’s elementary school ratio is at 19:1. The new school was approved following a capacity audit which showed a need for a new elementary school here.

Speaking of the new building, Snyder said two sites for the new elementary school have been appraised, one in north Riverton and the other on the south side of town. For obvious reasons, Snyder did not disclose the locations as he will be going to Casper on Thursday to seeking funding to purchase one of the sites.

“We may need a third appraisal, however,” he said. “The two appraisals required to bring a purchase request forward to the SFC for the two parcels are off significantly, quite significantly.” Snyder said. “We’ll just have to wait and see what they do with our request to purchase the land.”

The new job corps center is expected to employ a construction force of some 400 workers over the next two years, and when completed, 100 staff members will be needed to operate and provide programing inside the seven building campus. Snyder said the families expected to arrive in Riverton in connection with the center helped convince the SFC of the need for extra space.

While Snyder was pleased with the help the Job Corps Center provided the district, he said he was happy for the entire county. “This is going to be a really neat thing for the students and kids of Wyoming. It will help people all across the state, not just in Fremont County.”