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College finds use for vacant Lander facility

Oct 11, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College has leased its vacant building in downtown Lander to Wyoming Catholic College.

The lease will be renewed on a month-to-month basis through June 30, 2018, CWC administrators said. At that point WCC will have the option to purchase the building pending approval by the CWC Board of Trustees.

The board will consider the contract during a regular meeting next week.

'Burgeoning

student body'

WCC officials said in a press release that the facility would be used to meet the needs of its "expanding student body."

"This space is a wonderful addition to our facilities," WCC president Glenn Arbery said. "Adding a number of classrooms, offices, study spaces, and student common areas will go a long way towards alleviating the challenges caused by this burgeoning student body."

Jon Tonkowich, WCC's vice president of advancement and enrollment, also was pleased at the opportunities the new building will provide.

"We've never really had enough space for the students, whether in terms of classrooms, study rooms, or areas for them to simply spread out and relax," he said. "This will really help with all three of those, and our students will definitely appreciate the difference."

He added that the space wil alleviate some pressure WCC puts on the education building at Holy Rosary Church.

"The parish has been incredibly generous with that space, but having this new opportunity will help to reduce our footprint there," he said.

Trying to sell

In the past, CWC administrators have said leasing the building is not "financially advantageous to the college." However, the property has been on the market since 2015, according to previous reports, and Willie Noseep, CWC's interim vice president for administrative services, said in January that the parcel had not attracted any interested buyers, although "a couple people" had "looked at it."

At the time, Noseep said realtor Tiffany Hartpence had suggested lowering the asking price for the building from $400,000 to $360,000. He attributed the situation to the downturn in the local economy and recommended leaving the property on the market so proceeds from the eventual sale could be used to pay down debt on the new Lander Center project.

The new Lander Center on Leedy Boulevard was completed in August 2015, and the project came in under its $3.4 million budget. The facility features four main classrooms, a computer lab, a GED classroom and testing area, offices for staff, and parking.

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2017-10-17