Riverton State Office Task Force recommends proceeding with pre-renovation study at old U.S. Energy building

    The Riverton State Office Task Force voted Friday to recommend proceeding with the studies needed to renovate the old U.S. Energy building at 877 North Eighth Street West.

    The Wyoming State Building Commission approved the purchase of the property during a meeting this month – pending “satisfactory due diligence, inspection, and negotiation” – and authorized the Wyoming State Construction Department to move forward with “basic, first-order renovations,” state staffers said.

    The due diligence process is still ongoing, SCD Director Del McOmie told the task force this week, so the purchase of the U.S. Energy building hasn’t been finalized yet.


    Due diligence

    The reports that have come back from the due diligence inspections have been positive so far, however, McOmie said.

    “The feedback that we’ve heard from our structural engineer is the building is really sound,” McOmie said. “He was impressed on how it was originally constructed.”

    The engineer was particularly struck by the integrity of the basement parking garage, Project Manager Jake Schrickling said.

    “There were literally no cracks in any of the expansion joints,” Schrickling said. “He wants to know what the sub-base was, because that thing is bullet proof.”


    The structural timbers and beams on the second floor were “very sound” as well, Schrickling said – though “some minor tuckpointing … may have to happen around the bricks” – and the roof of the building has been replaced in the last four or five years.

    The only other piece of due diligence that remains to be completed is the geotechnical survey of the property, which was performed on Wednesday, Schrickling said, with a report expected in the coming week.

    Expansion opportunities

    The site survey of the 14-acre property revealed that it was originally designed to include three individual lots, Schrickling told the task force this week – a fact that “really sets up nicely if there would be future expansion necessary.”


    “All the storm utilities, the storm water, the sewer – everything is set up to service (all) of these areas,” he said, referring to a map of the lot. “If you purchase this property, we have all this extra area (with) potential for future expansion.”

    h/t Wyoming State Construction Department via YouTube

    The SBC also approved the acquisition of three more lots totaling almost 14 acres just north of the U.S. Energy building this month, state staffers noted.

    Those properties were recently purchased by new owners, but staff said “there may be an opportunity to work with them to try and purchase it.”


    Mine shaft elevator

    Wyoming Rep. Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander, asked whether anyone from the state had spoken with the current owner of the U.S. Energy building about the mine shaft elevator head that currently stands as a “monument” in front of the property.

    “Is it his responsibility to get rid of that?” Larsen asked. “I think that we had always contemplated that we’re buying (the property), but we’re not going to buy that head as well. We didn’t want that to come with it. … Let’s just make sure that doesn’t slip through the cracks.”

    State staffers said the equipment belongs to a third party, and attempts are underway to sell it.


    It will take four to six months to complete the reconnaissance and feasibility studies required for renovation, staff said this week.

    Until then, the task force recommended that the SBC include a “placeholder” for the anticipated building renovation project in its budget request to Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon this year.

    The next SBC meeting is scheduled to take place in July.


    Related Posts

    Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?