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UW Trustees Select Architects for Science, Athletics Projects

May 15, 2015

Wyoming firms have been chosen as the architects/engineers for two major construction projects planned at the University of Wyoming.

The UW Board of Trustees voted this week to authorize a contract with GSG Architecture of Casper, in association with Perkins & Will of Seattle, to provide architectural and engineering services for a new building at the center of the first phase of UW’s Science Initiative.

And the board authorized a contract with Pappas & Pappas Architects of Cheyenne, in association with DLR Group of Denver, to provide architectural and engineering services for the High Altitude Performance Center, a major expansion and renovation of UW’s Rochelle Athletics Center.

As envisioned by the Wyoming Governor’s UW Top-Tier Science Programs and Facilities Task Force, the Science Initiative facility will consist of the Center for Advanced Scientific Imaging, the Center for Integrative Biology Research, active-learning classrooms, an animal care facility and a plant growth facility.

During its 2015 budget session, the Wyoming State Legislature appropriated $3 million to design the facility, in addition to setting aside $30 million toward construction of the building estimated to cost close to $100 million.

The Science Initiative aims to transform science education and improve student success at UW and across the state, while creating world-class facilities to propel research on issues important to the state and nation.

The plan calls for programmatic and facilities improvements in two phases, starting in 2015 and concluding in 2021. It emphasizes collaboration among multiple disciplines by assembling researchers into a single complex with shared instrumentation, technical support and collaboration spaces.

The plan also signals a dramatic change in the way the foundational sciences are taught at the university, moving from traditional lectures and laboratories to an “active learning” format.

The architect/engineer will develop a Level 1 planning study, in which space requirements, conceptual floor plans and a project budget will be developed. In addition, the architect/engineer will analyze potential sites for the structure and make recommendations for approval by the Board of Trustees.

Meanwhile, the High Altitude Performance Center will be funded by $20 million in state funding, appropriated by the Legislature during the 2015 budget session, and $24 million in private donations.

Envisioned is a 78,100-square-foot addition, and renovation of parts of the existing 48,000-square-foot Rochelle Athletics Center, to create a state-of-the-art facility that will expand the holistic approach to development of student-athletes. Key components of the plan include new or expanded spaces focused on academic success, nutrition, strength and conditioning, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and recovery facilities for all of UW’s more than 400 student-athletes.

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