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UW Trustees Approve Funding for Veterans Center, IT Projects

September 18, 2017

Renovation of a section of the Wyoming Union to serve as the Veterans Services Center and upgrades to campus information technology infrastructure will proceed following action by the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees last week.

The board voted to spend up to $433,000 from the university’s new special projects reserve for the Veterans Services Center project, augmented by at least $294,000 in private donations. A section of the third floor of the Wyoming Union will be renovated to allow the center to move from its current location in Knight Hall.

Trustees also voted to spend $1.64 million from the special projects reserve to upgrade UW’s high-performance computing cluster; $860,000 from that reserve to replace the university’s data storage system; and a total of $1.12 million from the special projects and division reserves to upgrade the emergency cooling system for the Information Technology Building’s data center.

The Veterans Services Center project will create a high-quality, accessible and modern space for UW’s growing veterans programs, including a computer lab, study area, lounge, conference room, coordinator’s office and kitchen. The current space in Knight Hall has become inadequate.

The $433,000 expenditure -- which would be reduced with further private contributions beyond the $294,000 received to date -- comes from mandatory student fees allocated to the Wyoming Union held in the university’s special projects reserve.

The IT-related upgrades, meanwhile, are projects that have been planned for several years and are funded largely from UW Information Technology reserves pulled into the special projects reserve.

On other matters, the Board of Trustees last week:

-- Approved the renaming of UW’s Red House, former home of the Honors Program, to the Native American Education, Research and Cultural Center. The grand opening of the center is scheduled Friday, Sept. 29.

-- Received an update from Huron Consulting Group, which has been selected to conduct a study of UW’s enrollment capacity, including the possibility of offering reduced tuition rates for some out-of-state students.

-- Received a preliminary report from KSQ Design, a national planning, architecture, engineering and interior design company that specializes in campus planning and student life facilities. The firm is working with UW to develop a 10-year housing plan to upgrade its outdated residence halls and increase enrollment, two goals identified in the university’s new strategic plan.

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