CHEYENNE, Wyoming – A groundbreaking for Laramie County Community College’s Recreation and Athletics Complex (RAC) renovation and expansion, one of the largest construction projects in the college’s history, is set for Nov. 1.
The RAC, built in 1971, is one of the oldest buildings on campus, seeing only minor improvements and structural updates in the last half century. The project includes some major upgrades such as expanded physical fitness space, and a competition court that meets all the requirements to host tournaments. The renovation will also add some quality-of-life improvements including upgrades to the electrical and HVAC systems, which currently are outdated and at maximum capacity.
“This renovation will allow us to address critical needs within the facility, including upgrading our electrical and HVAC systems, adding air conditioning to the building, addressing ADA concerns, and providing much needed improvements to the spaces, equipment and recreation environment available to our students, employees and community members,” said Rick Johnson, senior vice president of administration and finance.
Inflation, supply chain challenges and labor shortages have increased the project’s total cost. Initially estimated at $14 million in 2017, the cost is now at just more than $25 million after LCCC made a few reductions to the project.
One of those cuts is the exterior facade improvement, a critical component for the building’s durability. LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer said he hopes to work with the Wyoming Legislature on securing additional funding to finish the exterior phase of the project.
“The RAC renovation has been a project LCCC has been working toward for many years,” said Dr. Schaffer. “Now, thanks to the cooperation and inspired thinking of many individuals, we are able to make it a reality. This groundbreaking is only the beginning of a project that will ultimately better serve our students, and the community, as a whole. I am eager to see what new opportunities the completed Recreation and Athletics Complex grants to LCCC in the future.”
The project is funded with $10 million in capital construction support from the Wyoming Legislature, to be matched by the college. LCCC will provide $6 million in funding through bonds backed by existing student fees, $1 million in reserves and the LCCC Foundation will provide the remaining $3 million in private gift support. To date $1.9 million of the $3 million in private support has been raised.
The groundbreaking will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 1 inside the RAC, in the aerobics center, guests are asked to enter the building through the southeast doors.
Members of the campus and community are invited to view progress and architectural renderings of the building at lccc.wy.edu/RAC.