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UW Trustees Vote to Hire Student Housing Consultant, RAC Expansion Planner

September 12, 2014

Contracts with firms to study student housing at the University of Wyoming and plan for expansion of the Rochelle Athletic Center were authorized by the UW Board of Trustees Friday.

The board voted to authorize a contract with Mahlum Architects of Portland, Ore., to develop a master plan for on-campus housing to meet the needs and expectations of students for the future.

UW’s Department of Residence Life and Dining Services manages seven residence halls, housing about 2,100 students, and accompanying dining facilities. The last new residence hall, White Hall, was built in 1967, and the last comprehensive housing and facilities plan was prepared in 2001.

The first phase of the master plan will include visioning sessions, market analyses, enrollment analysis and projections, a student survey, and a study of potential renovation and new construction. The second phase will include development of a site plan showing proposed layout and conceptual floor plans of new and existing housing and dining facilities, along with construction cost estimates.

Preliminary information will be available by July 1, 2015, with a final report due by Sept. 1, 2015 -- in time to allow UW to prepare a budget request to the governor and Legislature for a full Level 2 study for capital projects.

Meanwhile, the trustees voted to authorize a contract with the firm of Sink Combs Dethlefs of Denver to plan for an expansion of the Rochelle Athletic Center (RAC), built in 2001. UW’s Department of Athletics aims to expand the center, named for Curtis and Marian Rochelle, to add a training table/nutrition center in light of NCAA rules changes allowing student-athletes to receive unlimited meals and snacks.

The nutrition center would include a full-service kitchen, preparation area and dining center serving up to 400 student-athletes. Also contemplated for the expansion are locker rooms, team rooms, a training room, a sports medicine room, a strength and conditioning room, and an academic center.

The space requirements and projected budget for the addition will be developed as part of the Level 1 planning study.

On another matter, the board voted to rename UW’s Education Annex the Education Classroom and Literacy Center. The building has undergone extensive remodeling in recent years, including creation of the Sullivan Family Student Center and the Literacy Research Center and Clinic.

And the board voted to approve a memorandum of understanding with the city of Laramie regarding infrastructure improvements in the area between Lewis and Flint streets and Ninth and 15th streets. Among several items, the agreement calls for UW to pay for city water line improvements in the area, in exchange for conditional vacation of certain streets and alleys. The agreement now goes to the Laramie City Council for its review.

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