NWCCD Hopes for Capital Construction Funding in Governor's Budget

Dr. Paul Young
Dr. Paul Young

Presidents from the seven community college districts in Wyoming will meet with Governor Matt Mead next week, and Sheridan College will be looking for capital construction funding, specifically campus renovation projects.

They will meet with the governor Wednesday, November 2 in the first ever Wyoming Community Colleges Trustees Summit in Cheyenne.

Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young.

The Thorne Rider student commons was built in 1966 when the school had about 100 students on campus, but now about 400 students live on campus who could use a bigger facility, Young explained.

Young added that they will also request funding to make up for some enrollment growth as a five-year trend shows a 30 to 40 percent increase in students. Also, the college will look for some employee cost of living raises.

Finally, Young said they will discuss funding programs to make up for college completion deficiencies, a topic that has received attention in Wyoming and nationwide.

In past budget meetings colleges met with the governor individually, but this year community colleges will meet with Mead as a group at the summit in an effort to take a more unified approach, Young said.

That unified approach at the inaugural WCCT Summit will carry a that theme of college preparedness - and how colleges can better prepare students for the workforce. A release from the WCCT states that the Summit will include a presentation from Ric LaPlante on "Preparing Students for 2018 and Beyond" on improving college completion rates.

The community colleges have drawn up a request for $75 million in capital construction requests encompassing 14 projects.

The governor's budget will be considered by the Joint Appropriations Committee in December.

New Academic Center

Last year, Sheridan College received $15.2 million in funding from the state and from the Whitney Foundation that they will use to build the new academic center.

Young explains that in the next couple of weeks they will be releasing plans for the center.

The center is set for completion for the beginning of fall semester, 2013.

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