After eight years of working to secure a dedicated center capable of meeting the education and workforce needs of Teton County, Central Wyoming College (CWC) announced two exciting developments in moving the project forward. The Wyoming Community College Commission, the organization that coordinates the state’s community college network, voted to support $7.57 million for the CWC-Jackson Center, listing this project as their number one capital construction priority for the 2020 Wyoming State Legislature Budget Session.
In addition, CWC announced a new location where the college plans to build the center. “This is an incredibly exciting time for CWC-Jackson and the larger Teton County community,” said CWC President Dr. Brad Tyndall. “CWC-Jackson has long outgrown our current space and is in dire need of a facility capable of meeting both local education and workforce needs.
With the potential for significant funding from the state and a new location perfectly positioned to expand college credit and career technical education opportunities for high school students, we’re one step closer to making this center a reality.”
With support from Teton County voters, CWC-Jackson received $3.82 million in SPET funds in 2017 for the acquisition of land, planning, design, engineering and construction of a new facility. A portion of this money was used to purchase two lots in an ideal location in Town. Since that time, a new opportunity has arisen for CWC to purchase two acres of land located south of High School Road. This larger site provides more space to build a center capable of meeting community needs with adequate parking, is close to public transportation, and will enable opportunities for further collaboration with the school district.
CWC plans to sell the property previously purchased and use those funds to buy the new site, therefore keeping SPET dollars in use for the same purpose as designated by taxpayers.
Last week, Jorgensen Associates, on behalf of CWC, submitted a Pre-application Conference Request with the Teton County Planning Department. CWC is pursuing Public/Semi-public (P/SP) zoning, which is intended for public institutions including schools and hospitals, in order to be able to build to state community college standards while still honoring local community character and aesthetics.
“CWC has been serving students in Teton County for more than forty years and this will be our first dedicated space,” said Dr. Tyndall. “Ensuring we have the very best location that meets the needs of our students while fitting in with community character is essential.”
The funding request on behalf of the Wyoming Community College Commission will now be considered by the State Building Commission (SBC) in July. If approved at the SBC and the Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC), the full Wyoming Legislature will consider the request during the upcoming Budget Session, slated to start February 10, 2020.
The proposed Jackson Center would provide education to 200 additional degree-seeking students, doubling nursing enrollment and tripling enrollment in the culinary, hospitality and medical programs as well as providing much needed space for the College’s collaborative work with Silicon Couloir on the Start-Up Intensive.
The new space will also enable up to 125 students to intern with local and regional businesses; the expansion of English as a Second Language programs, High School Equivalency, tutoring and counseling services; and stronger collaboration to provide services in partnership with Teton Literacy Center, St. John’s Hospital, One 22 and many other businesses, nonprofit organizations and education providers.