Frame of the Lander Community Center is going up; Completion still set for next summer

(Lander, Wyo.) – The construction of the Lander Community is still on track for a summer 2014 completion, Community Resource Coordinator Gary Michaud said in an interview Wednesday.

“We still hope to have it in operation in August of next year,” Mayor Mick Wolfe said during the Nov. 26 City Council meeting.

All of the concrete has been poured, and the frame of the building is going up now. Michaud said more extensive soil testing and excavation was required than had been expected, and that set the construction back a couple weeks’ time. However, overall there have been no major hiccups, he said.

The lead contractor for the project is Sehnert Systems Inc. of Riverton, and the estimated final price tag is $5.4 million for more than 15,000-square-foot building.

Michaud said the fundraising for the project is still going strong, with roughly $1.25 million raised locally out of a $1.5 million goal.

Much of the funding is coming through grants and loans, however, Michaud said less has come from the state than planned. During yesterday’s meeting, the council approved a $500,000 grant and $150,000 loan from the Wyoming Business Council. Additionally, funding hoped for from Fremont County also didn’t come through.

So, Michaud said right now the city is preparing to come up with about $1.4 million on its own. Some of that could come from the city’s reserves, a loan from the city’s enterprise fund or a loan from a local bank. Those decisions have not yet been made.

Michaud emphasized that none of the money coming from water and sewer rate increases will be going to the construction of the community center; he said all of that revenue will be put right back into improving the utility infrastructure. (Read more about where those funds are going here.)

(Ernie Over photos. Click to enlarge.)