Posted at 12:05 a.m. on May 7, 2015

May 6, 2015, Board of Trustees' Meeting video broadcast

Board builds consensus on three level one studies

Three new level one building plans were discussed at the May 6 Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees meeting: the Ludden Library and Learning Commons; Residence Hall and Children’s Discovery Center; and the Fine and Performing Arts Building and Western Fine Arts Renovation.

The Fine and Performing Arts Building and Western Fine Arts Renovation has been discussed most recently since 2005-2006. The revised proposal involves constructing a new 51,930-square-foot building to the east of the PE Building, costing approximately $25 million or $487 a square foot.

The building would have an attractive north facing wall and would include premium electrical and structural systems. Trustee Brenda Lyttle acknowledged the high cost of the building would be because of the uniqueness of the structure, including an acoustical interior for the new 400-seat theatre.

Chris Wineman, of Denver-based Semple Brown Architects and Designers, agreed with Lyttle and added the number of contractors and subcontractors available for large projects has not bounced back from the recession. There are simply not enough people, so the demand for capable trades people has substantially risen.

The building would house not only the theatre and dressing/costume rooms but also space for visual arts, a music ensemble studio as well as a new art gallery.

LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer added the space would be used not only for theatre and musical productions, but also for other community events for which the Civic Center would be too large and the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church would be too small.

“This seems to hit the sweet spot in what’s needed in Cheyenne,” Schaffer said. Schaffer recommended taking a second look at the proposed plan to see what is most critical and most pragmatic for the building. The board now must submit the level one plans to the Wyoming Community College Commission capital construction database by May 27.

Ludden Library to undergo renovation

The Ludden Library and Learning Commons plan was revisited from a previous plan discussed one year ago. The revised draft’s project description said LCCC will use $5.5 million-$8 million of state-provided funds to renovate the existing library and add an additional 13,394 square feet. The project construction date is set to begin in 2017.

The additional square feet would extend to the north of the current library area toward the service entrance for the cafeteria. A more easily accessible entry from the outdoor mall would also be constructed. 

In 2012, a task force conducted surveys with students and faculty to review recommendations. Included on the survey lists were a 24-hour computer lab, multimedia presentation center, a print production center and a café.

The Student Success Center and the Writing and Communications Center are both currently in the library area. The new plan proposed adding the math lab, the language lab and the Center for Teaching and Learning to the renovated library area.

The Legislature has approved the level one plans, and the board plans to send a request to the WCCC for half of the funding to come from the state while the other half would be provided through local funds. Construction is set to begin in 2018.

The plans for the new Residence Hall has reached between $11 million and $13 million while the new Children’s Discovery Center plan has come to $2.7 million. A new residence hall to the west of the current “old” residence hall would be built, and once revenue was replenished from the current “new” residence hall, the “old” hall would be demolished and replaced with an additional brand-new residence hall.

The two new halls would include two different room styles: a traditional unit similar to the ones in the current “new” residence hall and a flex unit capable of transitioning between an apartment style and a family style. The flex unit would include a full kitchen and washer/dryer. Some 28 traditional units and 10 flex units are proposed in the plan.

The Children’s Discovery Center would be constructed in the area where the current Campus Safety and Security modular is situated. The plan was to relocate the center to accommodate the family housing in the new residence halls. Trustee Carol Merrell noted the community would also have better access to the center in this location.

However, the plans would take seven-10 years to reach level two of the planning process. With concerns from the board, Schaffer said there are also numerous options on the table for this proposed plan including real estate investment trusts and lease revenue bonds.

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