By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

LCCC presents 'Building Forward' initiative


Charlene Smith

The Laramie County Commissioners met Tuesday, Sept. 17 and heard from Laramie County Community College president Joe Shaffer about the “Building Forward” initiative.

Shaffer discussed LCCC two priorities in the initiative. Their priorities deal with regaining and sustaining LCCC competitive edge in the education of future professionals in Wyoming.

“Facilities have not kept up with the increase in enrollment,” Shaffer explained. “LCCC had over 40 percent growth in the last decade and if we only grow at the expected 10 percent for the next decade, we will be 155,000 square feet short of our needs on the Cheyenne campus alone.” Shaffer added the graduating class of 2012 was the largest one in LCCC history.

One priority would be changing the student experience to a more positive one with improved student housing and a new student center. Plans for the new center call for a 90,000 square foot building at a cost of $30 million.

The news student center would be “the front door to LCCC,” and serve as a comprehensive one-stop building to support the students from enrollment through graduation.

The student center would also house a large multi-purpose community conference center which Shaffer said would meet the public needs better than the existing conference center.

The other priority would be the flexible industrial technology building.

“This building is about jobs,” Shaffer said as he explained the refinery driven market in Wyoming. Shaffer said a “specialized industrial space does not exist on campus,” and that is what LCCC hopes to create with the new building.

Plans for the flex-tech building call for a 50,000 square foot facility that will cost $14 million.

Shaffer asked the commissioners to support the initiative and said “our success will be the success of Laramie County.”

Shaffer laid out the timeline for the project saying after the successful initiative vote on the ballot Nov. 5, and about a year to a year and a half of construction time, the county could see significant changes on the Cheyenne campus in two years.

After hearing about the plans for LCCC, the commissioners had the “honor” of reappointing Mark T. Voss as the Laramie County attorney.

“This is the most rewarding job I have ever had,” Voss said.

“Thank you for the job you do,” commissioner Diane Humphrey said. “I know attorneys have specialties and Mark’s is county government. He has done a great job.”

The commissioners held a public hearing to discuss a request from Slow Rollin Quarter Horses to allow the use of a riding arena and stables to house up to 20 horses on his property. Joshua Haack spoke to the commissioners about his plans and said the neighbors he spoke with didn’t have any conflicts with his plans.

When the public hearing was opened, numerous neighbors voiced their discontent with the plans and one neighbor presented the commissioners with a petition he circulated and collected over 40 signatures.

A neighbor called Haack’s idea a “horse pound,” and felt Haack’s proposal was “extreme.” The neighbor felt the 6.3 acres Haack had was not enough room for 20 horses and compared it to a “feedlot.” Another neighbor complained about the flies and had done significant research on flies, their eggs and how many flies each horse would bring due to the manure.

Haack said the layout for his stable would remain the same size even if he had 100 acres to build on. He added the horse manure would be well maintained and cleaned since the horses would be stabled and not running free.

The report from the staff to the commissioners included findings supporting the request, and said Haack had included a manure maintenance plan in his request.

After hearing from Haack’s neighbors and the staff report, the commissioners elected to postpone their decision on the request until they gathered more information.

The commissioners postponed two other land variance use requests and approved one request regarding the Sedgewick subdivision.

In other business, the commissioners held a public hearing and approved a revised grant application to the Wyoming Business Council for $4,000 to fund the Laramie County Community Partnership for a homeless youth plan.

The commissioners also approved a yearly fireworks permit for Richard Krehbiel at Wholesale Fireworks.

After a few months of discussion, the commissioners gave their final approval for the $2,250,000 grant between Laramie County and the Wyoming Business Council for the Microsoft Expansion Managed Data Center that will run until June 30, 2018.

The commissioners moved on to approve an award to Halladay Motors for the purchase of a 2014 GMC Yukon XL ½ ton for the coroners office. The county received two bids for the vehicle and both were from Wyoming with only a $3.50 difference in price. Chairman Troy Thompson noted coroner Marty Luna was absent from the meeting and joked he “hoped it wasn’t work related.”

The commissioners also awarded $52,697.26 to Cerento Inc., for the creation of redundancy for the county communications network. The money for the award will come from SLIB funds.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m.


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