Central Wyoming College has been offering courses in Jackson for over 40 years out of leased spaces scattered around town.
This month, the State Building Commission approved $7,577,330 of a 50/50 funding match with Teton County to go towards a new, centralized campus in Jackson.
CWC President Brad Tyndall says the expansion will strategically address some of the community's unique workforce needs.
"Oftentimes conversations about higher education are kind of abstract, how they're good for society," Tyndall said. "But very concretely, we have waiting lists [for our nursing program] and there's a need for more nurses in the community. So we know that we can at least double the size of our nursing program to meet the healthcare need."
After consulting local business owners and other stakeholders, Tyndall said the college also plans to expand its culinary/hospitality, business and entrepreneurship degree programs in Jackson.
The funding from the State Building Commission is pending approval from the State Legislature during its 2020 Budget Session, slated to begin in February. Meanwhile, the college is working to secure the match funding from local donors.
"We have been working on philanthropy aggressively, reaching out to people. And we're looking at other public-private revenue sources. So, aspirationally, gosh it'd be nice to break ground some time in 2021," Tyndall said.