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CWC starts work on new master plan

Mar 1, 2012 - Joshua Scheer, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College has begun the legwork required to compose a new master plan for the educational institution's Riverton campus and satellite sites around the state.

In late January, college officials held a series of meetings to determine the college's needs.

The master plan, when completed in June, should provide a direction for CWC to grow and operate for the coming five years.

"We spent three days with the architects working with several groups on campus," said Ron Granger, associate vice president for administrative services.

The firm hired to facilitate the process is Anderson Mason Dell, the architects also in charge of designing the health and science center.

Additionally, the planners held a single public hearing and met Jan. 25 with the board of trustees. There were also sessions held with the City of Riverton and Riverton Chamber of Commerce.

"Of course, we're in the early information-gathering stages," said CWC president Jo Anne McFarland.

"We had a lot of ideas we hadn't thought of," Granger said of input at the sessions. "I thought it was very productive."

Among topics discussed were traffic flow, classroom needs of various programs and a one-stop center for student financial and administrative needs.

Granger said there were three or four ideas for the one-stop area presented over the course of the meetings.

Changes to the Student Center will also be considered, Granger said. He's heard suggestions for altering the cafeteria, adding more of a dedicated study space and changes to recreation facilities.

Student space

Currently, student lounge space is in a couple of the main hallways, which McFarland said are "very cluttered."

"Our food court is very undersized," she said.

She added that the Little Theater is serving too many purposes, and those are beginning to come into conflict.

"The board also talked about the need to involve green alternatives," McFarland said.

She said uses of natural gas -- including the possibility of a filling station -- are being looked at in the master plan process.

McFarland listed other items that are being considered, including a more prominent entry to campus, better signage and a new academic space, which will include rooms that will be available with the completion of the health and science center.

Information will also be gathered about the satellite locations in Jackson, Dubois and Thermopolis.

The college is planning meetings on the Wind River Indian Reservation for early March.

McFarland said trustees have asked the planners to be sure services and facilities were not being doubled-up among the college's various locations.

She also said the possibility of an updated or new space is something that needs to be taken into account as planning moves forward.

As the Legislature begins pouring over the budget this week, CWC has two items up for funding approval: academic space improvements for both the Riverton and Lander campuses.

Planners will return to Riverton in March to evaluate and prioritize goals with individual groups.

Once complete in June, trustees are expected to hold a community dialogue dinner about the plan.

Lander site

"We know we're approved to expand the Lander space," McFarland said, noting that the expansion could include a new location rather than the one used now in the 400 block of Main Street.

She said the college would be seeking input from the Lander community as it moves forward with this project. The change in space, McFarland said, needed to be "accepted and desired" by the people of Lander.

McFarland directed comments about the project to Lander and Sinks Canyon Center director Ken Colovich or vice president for administrative services Jay Nielson.