Posted 12 p.m. Oct. 17, 2013

Special election halts capital core project

By Kasey M. Orr
Co-editor

One of the many expansion projects the Laramie County Community College administration has been considering in the past year is the Hynds Capital Core Project. Initiated in the fall of 2012, the project was a way for the college to offer students more housing options and availability. One option being considered was to purchase the Hynds Building in downtown Cheyenne and renovate it into dormitory/apartment space.

As of the end of the spring 2013 semester, this project was still in its exploratory phase. LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer said the project had been handed off to third-party members of the project as of last summer.

According to Schaffer, the college had committed to do two initial parts of the project. “We would, one, survey our students and find out if there was interest if it was something we should explore. Two, if there was interest, we would essentially put together some kind of feasibility study.”

In the fall of 2012 LCCC conducted a survey of students on campus to determine interest, desire or need for an off-campus, downtown student housing facility. The results of 379 studentĀ­ participants reported to the LCCC Board of Trustees showed measurable interest.

This information was presented to the trustees in a January 2013 meeting, and certain elements of the overall idea were questioned by some trustees, including Dr. Kevin Kilty. He raised questions about the prudence of placing a student housing facility in such proximity to so many bars and so far away from supermarkets and other residential housing. Even with certain reservations, the board approved the continued exploration of this project’s feesability.

The next step was putting together a focus group comprised of 17 of the 379 surveyed students in order to learn what student residents would want or require from such a facility. Questions of parking and access of amenities were brought up as well as space requirements for each living unit and security issues.

“We found from these pretty much what we thought: There is a need,” Schaffer said. He said the focus groups provide information about what would need to be fixed and what students living there would expect, and gave the college administrators and trustees an idea of the scope of the project.

As of the end of the spring semester this year, the Capital Core Project members, including Realtors, architects and investors, held the ball on the project. The college had fulfilled its end of the bargain, to find a level of interest, and provide a criterion of needs to be met if the project were to go forward. Now it is up to the members of Capital Core to propose a building plan and budget and return to the college and sell the idea to the board of trustees.

According to Schaffer not much information has come from the Core Project in the last few months, which is fine with while the college’s current focus is the Building Forward project and the special election Nov. 5.

 

January 2013 issue on capital core project

January 2013 issue Letter of intent between LCCC, HCC to be extended

January 2013 issue Trustees discuss signage, downtown housing at retreat