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A cooperative effort by the University of Wyoming and Central Wyoming College will result in expanded educational opportunities in Fremont County.
Both institutions are moving forward to build an Intertribal and Community Center at CWC. It will eventually house several CWC academic programs, the college's collection of Native American artifacts, and shared classrooms.
Designed in the symbolic shape of a drum, the center will host multicultural events and provide a gathering place for students to conduct meetings, celebrate at powwows, hold club meetings and confer with staff members. Additionally, some academic assistance programs, such as Gear Up, Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound, will be located at the center.
"We are pleased to have this outstanding opportunity to help meet the educational needs of students in central Wyoming," UW President Tom Buchanan says. "This is exactly the type of partnership we envisioned when we met last fall with the Central Wyoming College trustees. The ability to share facilities and resources is an important step in strengthening our outreach educational opportunities throughout the state, but particularly now in Fremont County."
CWC President Jo Anne McFarland says the college has been actively working to establish the Intertribal Center for the past eight years. When Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed House Bill 67, she said, "(Sharing space) makes better use of scarce state resources. But even more important is the increased access to UW courses and programs for our students, many of whom transfer to UW, as well as the synergy and joint programming that we expect will come through this enhanced partnership with UW."
HB 67, approved by the Wyoming State Legislature at its session that concluded last week, added $1.1 million to the project. UW Trustees on Friday voted to permit the UW Foundation to raise $550,000 for the facility, to be matched by the academic facilities matching fund, for a total UW commitment of $1.1 million.
UW Foundation President Ben Blalock notes this is the university's first partnership initiative with a Wyoming community college. Funds raised by UW will allow for additional UW outreach space in the facility.
"The UW Foundation is eager to partner with CWC in gaining additional private support for this important project," Blalock says. "It is my hope that this will be the first of many opportunities to work closely with our state's colleges in joint initiatives in the years ahead."
Recently, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi announced a $420,000 appropriation for the center, which adds to a $1 million federal appropriation secured through the Department of Housing and Urban Development two years ago. CWC has received more than $600,000 in private donations toward the project.