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UW Board of Trustees Authorizes Wyoming Union Visioning Study

May 14, 2018

The University of Wyoming is seeking the services of a third-party firm to help develop a long-term vision for the Wyoming Union.

The UW Board of Trustees voted last week to authorize the administration to issue a request for qualifications from architecture/planning firms to lead a comprehensive visioning study of the facility, which is the center of campus life.

The objective is to produce a comprehensive, 30-year plan for the Wyoming Union in preparation for renovations that will allow the facility to fulfill its mission of providing a nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to pursue excellence, develop leadership and realize their potential.

The Associated Students of UW (ASUW) will fund up to $350,000 for the visioning study.

“As the centerpiece of student life, the Wyoming Union … needs to be a priority in the plans of growth and investments on the campus of the university,” says an ASUW report on the need for a visioning study. “A revitalized Wyoming Union has the potential to increase the inclusivity, involvement and overall student experience, accomplishing many goals set forth in (UW’s strategic plan).”

The Wyoming Union opened March 3, 1939, and received additions and renovations in 1957, 1973 and 2002. It offers over 19,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. The building houses the University Store, the Copy Center and a variety of dining options. It is home to the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership; ASUW; Fraternity and Sorority Life; the Campus Activities Center; Service, Leadership and Community Engagement; Student Media; the Nontraditional Student Center; the Rainbow Resource Center; and the Multicultural Resource Center. Renovations are underway to house the Veterans Services Center as well.

ASUW wants the visioning study to explore the possibility of:

-- Additional event space.

-- Upgraded meeting and conference rooms.

-- Theater-style presentation spaces.

-- New and upgraded retail options.

-- Flexible physical space for business opportunities and initiatives.

-- More space for cultural/art demonstrations and experiences.

-- Technology upgrades.

The selected firm will work with a Wyoming Union visioning planning team that will include several students; representatives of the Faculty Senate and Staff Senate; a Board of Trustees appointee; and administrative representatives.

Plans call for the team to recommend a consulting firm to the Board of Trustees in June; board approval of a firm in July; the study to take place from August to December; and a report to the Board of Trustees in January.

On a separate facilities-related matter, the trustees voted last week to use the “construction manager at risk” process for construction of a West Campus Satellite Energy Plant north of the Agriculture Building. The plant will serve new facilities on the northwest part of campus and will include gas-fired boilers and a chiller system. Work on the project could begin this year.

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