CWC aiming to start new Lander center later this year

Feb 27, 2014 By Katie Roenigk Staff Writer

Administrators at Central Wyoming College hope to begin construction on a new center in Lander sometime this spring.

The facility will be located on state-owned property next to the Wyoming Life Resource Center.

The State Lands Board in February approved a 50-year lease for the three-acre parcel, asking CWC to pay 9 cents per square foot, or $11,760 per year, to occupy the space.

The amount is slightly more than administrators anticipated, but Ron Granger, CWC's vice president for administrative services, said he was pleased with the lease.

"For the price of land it's not bad," he said. "This is a very good deal for us and gives us the opportunity to start the Lander project this spring."

He would like to complete the building's design by April or May, then request bids for the project. Groundbreaking could be scheduled as soon as May or June.

The building is expected to cover about 8,000 square feet and include four classrooms that can be opened up into two large classrooms if desired.

A computer lab is on the blueprint, as well as office space and an area for General Educational Development work.

"Both the inside and the outside are preliminary at this point, but the renderings give a good idea of what we plan to build," Granger said, showing a photo to the CWC Board of Trustees.

"There are some things that will change on it, but this is our first conceptual idea of what the building in Lander will be like. ... This is our first try at it."

CWC president Jo Anne McFarland said the college budget can support the annual rental cost outlined on the state lease, which can be renewed for another 50 years in the future.

She recommended trustees approve the lease pending favorable review by attorney Frank Watkins.

"We really want to know that we can move forward with the design and readying for construction, which should happen early spring," she said.

The board unanimously approved the lease contingent on the legal review.

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