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Groundbreaking for a joint facility to be shared by the University of Wyoming and Casper College is set at 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 19, at 125 College Drive in Casper. Those attending are asked to park in Lots P6 or P7 east of the Gateway Building.
The building also will house a new student union, and will provide new and better space for students. The facility is the result of several years of discussion and planning to consolidate all of UW's Casper academic operations to a Casper College location, achieving both schools' goals to continue to provide quality higher education opportunities in Wyoming.
UW President Tom Buchanan says the facility is part of an effort to increase the university's presence at community colleges to help offer more learning opportunities, including baccalaureate and graduate programs and other assistance.
UW will contribute $16 million through a $6 million cash contribution generated from historic federal mineral royalty payments and from a $10 million issuance of revenue bonds authorized by the Wyoming State Legislature. Casper College will contribute $16 million through general obligation bonds that were approved by Natrona County voters.
About the building:
-- The building is a 92,000 square-foot, four-story facility.
-- Anticipated completion is spring 2014.
-- One-half of the building will be offices, classrooms and student services for the UW/Casper College Center. The remaining half will be student activities offices, food service, a student wellness center, meeting rooms and recreational facilities.
-- In conjunction with the Gateway Building, the new facility will serve as a primary connection, including handicap access, between upper and lower campus.
-- Additional benefits: The project allows for the demolition of Roberts Commons Cafeteria to be redeveloped for vehicular and pedestrian traffic routes, beautification of lower campus and reconfiguration of lower-campus parking. Additionally, current UW/CC space will be reallocated for instructional programs.