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UW Trustees Approve Construction, Renovation Projects

November 16, 2012

Three major construction and renovation projects at the University of Wyoming moved a step closer to getting under way with action today (Friday) by the UW Board of Trustees.

The board selected a construction manager at risk for renovation of the Biological Sciences Building; chose an architect/engineer for renovation of the Arena-Auditorium; and established a guaranteed maximum price for the expansion and renovation of the Performing Arts Center.

The three projects represent continued efforts on the part of the university, state elected officials and private donors to upgrade and expand UW’s facilities to enhance its efforts in instruction, research, athletics and outreach.

Selected as construction manager at risk for the Biological Sciences project is Independent Heating and Sheet Metal of Laramie. The estimated $10 million project will involve replacement of  the heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems in the 160,000-square-foot building.

The existing systems, original to the building that opened in 1969, do not meet modern safety requirements and regulations, especially in the laboratories. The project is funded by 2013-14 major maintenance dollars, supplemented by federal mineral royalties.

Selected as architect/engineer for the first phase of the Arena-Auditorium renovation is By Architectural Means P.C. of Cheyenne, in association with Sink Combs Dethlefs of Denver.

The firms will design improvements that will include: expansion and replacement of the basketball court floor to provide two practice courts and reorientation of the competition court; reconfiguration and replacement of the seating in the lower bowl to include up to 500 club seats, as well as dedicated media, band and student sections; renovation of most of the current locker room level; installation of upgraded lights and new video boards, LED ribbon boards and sound system; and life-safety and Americans with Disabilities Act improvements.

The preliminary estimate for the first phase of work on the Arena-Auditorium, which opened in 1982, is in the $6 million range -- to be funded through private donations and state matching funds. A second phase of improvements may include building additions and renovations at the concourse level. No construction timeline has been established.

Meanwhile, work is expected to begin as early as January on the Performing Arts Center. Sampson Construction Co. of Cheyenne is the construction manager at risk for that project, which will involve renovating and expanding the former Fine Arts Building to serve UW’s music, theater and dance programs.

The guaranteed maximum price established by trustees is a base of $25.7 million, to be funded by a combination of bond proceeds, a $14.2 million legislative appropriation, private donations and other funds. Completion of the project is expected in fall 2014.

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