Big step forward for planned ag center at CWCSep 22, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Part two of three
Central Wyoming College took another step Wednesday in the creation of a new agriculture and animal science center in Riverton.
It was one of three construction project proposals the CWC Board of Trustees approved this week.
The Wyoming Legislature approved a bill this year allowing CWC to move forward with the project using private funding. The state will match CWC's contribution, but only after the college has spent its half of the $10.5 million cost.
Willie Noseep, CWC's vice president for administrative services, said the school is raising the money through a capital campaign, grants, and eventually through the sale of the current equine center facility on Gasser Road.
For now, however, the college only has to pay $1 million so the state can issue a request for qualifications in order to select a firm to complete a "level three" design study for the project.
"This is exciting for the community and school," CWC Board of Trustees Chair Colton Crane said Wednesday. "To kind of kick it off is exciting. This will be a good thing."
Trustee Paula Hunker asked about the sale of the current building.
"Are there people interested?" she asked.
Noseep said he hadn't heard from anyone looking to buy the facility, but CWC president Brad Tyndall noted that it's not on the market yet, so it's "hard to gauge it's sell-ability."
"It's too early to say what we might get for it," he said.
The previous design study places the new ag center on college-owned land directly north of campus. It will cover almost 87,950 square feet of building space, plus 19,250 square feet outdoors in addition to parking and loading areas.
Two indoor arenas are planned, including one for Western riding and rodeo, another for English riding. Both will be equipped with seating for spectators.
An outdoor arena will be located northwest of the main building, with a large parking lot to the north able to accommodate shipping and receiving of livestock.
Thirty horse loafing sheds with runs will be on the southwest portion of the property, with a smaller parking lot for trailers and animal loading and unloading. For security and animal control, a continuous, four-rail steel fence will surround the entire facility.
In between and around the indoor arenas are classrooms, offices, restrooms, locker rooms, an agriculture lab, a student lounge, an animal health unit and a maintenance shop.
The design document notes that the space currently leased for courses on Gasser road limits program offerings which could be expanded now that CWC has updated its equine science program to better enable students to achieve four-year degrees in partnership with the University of Wyoming.
For example, the document says multiple instructors use one small indoor arena on Gasser Road, and classrooms are size restrictive as well, forcing students and teachers to use space in other buildings on and off campus.
Administrators have said courses like therapeutic riding, equine massage therapy and training technology could be added to the class roster once the new facility is complete.