(This is the property located at the corner of Highway 789 and Leedy Drive where the future CWC Lander Center could be located. Joshua Scheer photo.)
(Lander, Wyo.) – After taking a summer hiatus, LEADER Corp. resumed its monthly economically oriented discussions on Wednesday morning with an update from Central Wyoming College on future Lander facilities.
Present were CWC Board of Trustees Chairman Charlie Krebs and Vice President for Administrative Services Ron Granger.
Granger told the audience gathered at the Oxbow Restaurant in Lander that CWC’s current space on the 400 block of Main Street is inadequate as an educational facility, despite retrofitting done by the college. The facility is about 6,000 square feet in size, and Granger said much of the space wasted. Student parking is also a problem downtown.
Funding for the new multi-million dollar facility has been approved at 66 percent from the state, and the college will pay for the rest with $700,000 in short term bonds it has issued through Wells Fargo.
Granger said the college should get preliminary approval next month to construct the building on property owned by the Wyoming Department Health under a 75-year lease. The approval of the lease is pending ultimately from the Wyoming State Legislature next winter. The land is located on the southern end of the Wyoming Life Resource Center where the former sign for Pathfinder High School stands.
But with the preliminary approval, Granger said the college will move forward with architects to design the 8-10,000 square foot building. In order to keep the state funding allocated for the project, the college must break ground before next July.
“Nothing at CWC is slow,” he said. “It’s kind of quick. We push everybody.”
Programmatically, the Lander facility will be used similarly as it is now for general education courses. With regard to future growth, he said the college is keeping options open to double the facility’s size in the next 10 years, but it has to prove to the state that the need is there.
Granger also discussed the future of student housing at the CWC Sinks Canyon Center. Originally, the college had planned to build dorms on the campus to house outdoor education students. However, noting utility difficulties, the college is looking at retrofitting the cabins to be more winter friendly and build a bunkhouse connected to the existing shower house. Granger said there is space for 36 beds under the current plan.
Krebs said there is a demand for housing at the Sinks Canyon Center now, but there’s no way to fulfill those requests.
LEADER Corporation is a Lander-based Economic Development organization that holds monthly meetings to inform the public on events and projects that affect the economies of Lander, Riverton and Fremont County. LEADER also provides assistance for new businesses that will bring development and jobs to the area.