Oct. 3, 2012 10:25 p.m.

Board to explore Hynds building for student housing

The Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees expressed interest in exploring the possibility of using the Hynds Building, in downtown Cheyenne, for additional student housing at the Oct. 3 study session.

Using a historic building for housing

Alan O’Hashi and Glenn Garrett, individuals who are promoting the college to use the historic building, presented the board with a preliminary outline for how the college could use the building to house students who would prefer to live off campus.

The building was constructed in 1919 by its namesake, Harry P. Hynds, and was designed by William Dubois, grandfather of current LCCC trustee Bill Dubois. The project would require building a new structure adjacent to the Hynds in a vacant lot, called “the hole.” O’Hashi said this option could provide the college with 65 apartments, including studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, that could house more than 100 residents.

In their analysis the building’s basement and first floor would tentatively be used as commercial space; the second and third floors would be used as business or office space, and the fourth through seventh floors would be used for residential housing.

College could lease, rent building

However, depending on feasibility and college interest, the college could opt to own the building or lease the building from the current owners. This will also present the college with the opportunity to decide whether it would like to allow only LCCC students to live in the space or if others could occupy it.

Garrett said the project could receive 20 percent of construction funding by attempting to preserve the history of the building and following the guidelines for receiving tax credit.

“This concept is really sympathetic to historical preservation,” Garrett said. Garrett said not only would the building benefit LCCC, but also the increase in downtown residents could help to add life to the area and preserve a beloved, historic building.

“People love this building. They want to see it remain,” Garrett said. Parking for the project could be in a nearby city parking facility, and the project could include a secure walkway leading to the facility.

Prospective tenants discussed

LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer said the college could potentially use the housing for second-year students, nontraditional students and students with families. Board Chair Greg Thomas questioned whether students would want to live in downtown Cheyenne.

Schaffer said he believed some students would be interested in living downtown and has recently heard from the members of the Student Government Association that students were interested in finding transportation to the downtown area.

Nontraditional residence halls are a priority on the college’s master plan; however, should the college pursue using the Hynds Building for housing, Schaffer said the two projects could be pursued independently, and the Hynds Building project would not delay the on-campus residence halls.

The board said they would provide Schaffer with more direction on the matter and address the issue more thoroughly at its Oct. 17 business meeting.

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