9 a.m., Feb. 19, 2015

College scales back building's plans

President says struggle in designing 'to fit our purse string'

Laramie County Community College’s president said the student/university center building project on the main campus has “specifically been a struggle to design to fit our purse string,” resulting in a 9,000-square-foot reduction.

Dr. Joe Schaffer told the trustees Feb. 18 that throughout the project, the cost of construction has always been just out of reach. In order to reduce cost, 9,000 square feet was removed from the original plans presented by Pappas and Pappas Architects during a meeting on Feb. 13. Schaffer said cost per square foot has escalated from $265 to $315.

The board of trustees agreed to keep the focus of the building on the students; therefore, it opted to remove the plans for a new board meeting room from the building.

The building is now focused solely on student services. University of Wyoming space has now been moved to the fourth floor, which works well for the proximity of the science labs, now on the third floor, he said. The second floor is now reserved for instructional space, offices, financial aid and counseling services.

Some offices, conference rooms and classrooms had to be eliminated, but the testing center has now been moved to the ground level. This makes the entire enrollment process all on the first floor, including admissions, advising, billing services and the bookstore.
Assembly space was reduced, but Schaffer said they planned to add it as an alternative when construction is bid.

Schaffer said those who have been involved with the process are still very pleased, despite the changes. Trustee Carol Merrell said people are still getting what they needed and wanted.

There was mention of existing space that would be vacated once the student/university center is constructed, but the president said no decisions had been made.

Schaffer said once the building is finished, the board will revisit the original master building plan to implement those expansions as well as hear new ideas of how to fill the vacated space.

New student/university center building plans