Posted at 9:10 p.m., Nov. 5, 2013

Voters pass bond issue

The “Building Forward” project received approval from Laramie County residents Nov. 5, which allows Laramie County Community College to start construction on two new campus facilities.

The final unofficial vote with all 61 precincts reporting was 5,670 in favor and 3,848 against. This vote total includes absentee ballots.

“Going into tonight, we figured it would be a close race, so at the end to see there was quite a bit of separation made us feel pretty good,” said Dr. Joe Schaffer, LCCC president.

Voters have agreed to a general obligation bond levy that would raise Laramie County property taxes by 2.83 percent or approximately $1.58 a month for every $100,000 of property value and 74 cents a month for every 640 acres for range land owners.

Carol Merrell, chair of the LCCC Board of Trustees, said: “We were pretty excited about the vote. I was very worried because you can’t count on a vote until you have it your pocket.”

The tax increase will provide more than half the needed startup capital to construct a new administrative building for student services as well as a new home for some industrial technologies courses.

The special election, paid for by the LCCC Foundation, was pushed forward a year ahead of the general election by an “appealing tax environment” and desirable construction costs, Schaffer had said earlier.

The “Building Forward” project is driven by the need to increase LCCC’s square footage in an effort to accommodate previous and possible future enrollment growth. Though the rate has slowed “by single percentages” in the last year and a half, the college’s enrollment has steadily increased “40 percent over the last 10 years,” Schaffer said.

The University/Student Services Center will be a centralized location for the administrative needs of the college and its attendees. Area has been designated for university outreach programs and other courses that will promote four-year degrees on campus. The building is also slated to include general use classroom space, student activity area and a new home for the recently relocated bookstore.

The Flex-Tech (industrial technologies) Building will be constructed as a new home for some of the specialized training programs offered by the college. It has been discussed that a portion of the facilities available space will be left flexible to accommodate the needs of certificate programs offered at LCCC.

The Wyoming Community College Commission ranked the student center and industrial technologies building projects as the No. 1 and No. 2 most needed for community colleges in Wyoming, Schaffer said.

President Schaffer outlined the next steps in the process of “building forward” would be for the governor to include funding in his budget to the next legislative session.

“Building Forward” is an eight-year plan to expand the LCCC campus. The bond election was but the first step in an aggressive strategy to increase space at the college. Other projects to be presented in the future include residence halls and the possibility of an off-campus residence facility, a new building for the fine and performing arts, and expansion of the Albany County campus at the University of Wyoming.

LCCC plans to pursue developing its campus and increasing the available space. 

The unofficial results from the polling places will reveal 100 percent of the precinct count; however, the outcome will remain incomplete until all absentee ballots have been added. The County Canvassing Board will meet Friday, Nov. 8, to review the poll results and announce the official count.

Updated: at 10:40 p.m., Nov. 5, 2013

For more information:

Complete unofficial results
by precinct

Will voters Build Forward?

Laramie County Clerk results