By: Ernie Over

A $10-million project to design and construct a campus in Jackson for Central Wyoming College was approved by Teton County voters in Tuesday’s mid-term elections. The measure was passed 5,740 votes to 3,712. The ballot issue will help provide funding for CWC’s 21,000 square foot permanent campus building on a two-acre parcel of land just west of Jackson Hole High School.

The exact language of the Special Purpose Excise Tax, or SPET is as follows:

“$10,000,000 for planning, designing, engineering, and constructing an approximately 21,000 square foot permanent campus for providing higher education opportunities in fields such as healthcare, early childhood education, hospitality, and language for Central Wyoming College in Teton County. This project is sponsored by the Town of Jackson.”

This marks the second time that Teton County voters have approved a special funding package for CWC. The first was in 2017 when $3.82 million was approved for a land purchase and initial design concepts.

The college currently offers classes out of the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts building and at a number of hospitality businesses throughout the town and in Teton Village. CWC has been providing higher education opportunities in Teton County for over 40 years.

According to Buckrail.com in Jackson, project costs are estimated at:

Land acquisition: $3,000,000 (acquired during 2017 SPET)
Design: $2,557,001
Construction: $12,700,512
Furnishings, fixtures, equipment: $2,198,346
Contingency: $2,028,155
Other: $3,027,201 (includes bonds/insurance,escalation and admin)
Total costs are estimated at $25,511,215.

In 2017, the Wyoming Legislature had approved a $500,000 package for a Jackson facility to be matched by private philanthropy. The college’s supporters did more than that, and exceeded the match, raising $1-million. Earlier this year, legislators in Cheyenne approved another $10.3 million in matching funding for the Jackson project, which was accomplished in Tuesday’s vote.