Last Friday, lawmakers gathered in Laramie for the groundbreaking of the new University of Wyoming Science Initiative Building.
The $100 million facility is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and will contain a 200-seat classroom and research facilities.
At the ceremony, Governor Matt Mead acknowledged the challenges the state faced securing funding.
“Tough choices have to be made, and tough choices were made to get us here today, but without the support of the legislature, we simply wouldn’t be here today,” said Mead.
The legislature was initially going to fund the entire project, but when the University’s board of trustees swept reserve funds stored across departments, it made it appear that there was already cash available for the project. In the end, the legislature asked the University to supply $15 million. The swept funds technically belonged to the departments, so the University had to find other ways to come up with the funds.
Governor Mead commended President Nichols for her handling of the budget cuts.
“President Nichols had a tough job. We got her here and her first meeting with me, I said, ‘Hey, your budgets not going to be quite what you anticipated when you made the move,’ and you and the trustees have done an extraordinary job navigating through that and I thank you,” Mead said.
In the end, the legislature supplied $85 million for the Science Initiative Building, and the University supplied the other $15 million.
Part of the building will remain unfinished, with the possibility for more facilities in the future.