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International headquarters facilities project in full swing

By Eric Keller, Marketing Intern
Reprinted from The Leader, Summer 2000, Vol. 16, No. 3

In 1997 NOLS brought the 'plan ahead and prepare' motto to the front-country. The school has been growing. In the next 12 years NOLS is expected to have an annual growth of more than 5 percent and will need to double headquarters staff. With such student and administrative expansion comes the need for facilities improvements.

"In 1997 we recognized the fact that we had never done a long term plan for Lander facility needs," NOLS Executive Director John Gans states. "While other branches had plans in place, it seemed that in Lander we usually waited for a crisis and then responded to the crisis."

What exactly is the strategy for facilities improvements? The NOLS International Headquarters has developed a solution to maximize administrative efficiency, minimize in town operation costs, become even more environmentally responsible, and remain a positive contributor to the Lander community. The plan consists of two elements. The first is to build new office space. The second is to renovate the historic Nobel Hotel.

The New Baby of NOLS

A new 44,000 square foot office building is about to rise. On the first floor will be admissions, alumni, development, publications, and marketing. The second floor will host departments such as curriculum, staffing, policy, outreach, and risk management. The third floor will be dedicated to finance and information systems, the internal operations aspect of NOLS administration.

The school is incorporating as many 'green' materials into the building design as possible. The green elements of the building will add ten percent to total building cost. Groundbreaking took place in June of this year and completion is slated for 2001.

Learn More About Our New Office Building with Construction Site Live Cam

The Noble Makeover

Remodeling the Noble is the second step in improving international headquarters. The first floor will serve as student lounge and contain classrooms. The library will be expanded and a gallery will be added close to Main Street. In an attempt to attract townspeople and tourists historical elements of the Noble will be restored.

This project is slated to begin in 2002 and be completed the following year.

Gans believes that, "By maintaining ownership, NOLS will continue to steward the historic Noble hotel and therefore stay connected to part of our own history... The school is poised at an exciting juncture. The facilities project is an opportunity for NOLS and its supporters to strengthen the foundation from which the school will continue to provide the world's best education in leadership and wilderness skills."


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