NOLS breaks ground on new headquarters
LANDER, WYO - June 19, 2000 -- The National
Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) swapped
backpacks and climbing gear for hard hats
and shovels during a groundbreaking ceremony
for the school's new headquarters facility
on Monday. The 44,000 sq. ft. building is
designed to accommodate the school's growth
in recent years and will handle projected
growth through the year 2012.
Members from both the NOLS and Lander communities
were on hand to break ground, including State
Representative Dr. Harry Tipton and his wife
Alex, who donated the land for the new facility.
Also present were Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer,
Mayor Jerry Heckert and First Interstate Bank
Riverton Branch President Charles Krebs, who
will serve as the Economic Revenue Bond Issuer.
Former NOLS Board of Trustees Chair Gretchen
Long-Glickman and current Vice-Chair Trina
Peterson also helped shovel the first sprinkles
of dirt as did long-time NOLS instructors Steve
Goryl and Missy White.
Photograph by Pamela
The building gets underway 35 years after
the first NOLS course headed into the Wind
River Mountains near Lander, Wyoming. "We
couldn't give up our roots here in Lander," said
John Gans, NOLS Executive Director. "While
NOLS is part of Lander, Lander is certainly
an important part of NOLS."
Karl Weller, NOLS Lander Facility Project
Manager, has spent the last year working
with local government officials and business
leaders and is excited to see the Lander
community unite for the project. "Everyone
involved has been extremely supportive. NOLS
appreciates Lander and I think the community
also recognizes that NOLS is an integral
part of the economic diversity here," says
Weller. "As Mayor Jerry Heckert reminded
everyone, it has a lot to do with faith.
NOLS is a business that wants to continue
to invest in the community."
At a cost of $8.67 million, the building
project will contract up to 125 tradesmen
during the first phase of construction. Project
contractor, Kloefkorn-Ballard Construction
and Development, Inc., estimates it will
reach completion in 18 months, but the new
building is just the beginning. Phase two
will involve a complete renovation of the
historic Noble hotel, which now holds student
housing and the school's primary office space.
A student lounge, staff resources room and
classrooms to accommodate both NOLS and the
recently acquired Wilderness
Medicine Institute will be a major part
of the renovation project.
The final phase, contingent on fundraising,
will turn the Kennedy building located on
Third Street into a kitchen and dining room
space. "After the completion of all
three phases, NOLS will have a real downtown
campus," said Weller. "This entire
year has been a real cerebral process. Now
it's tangible. We're actually building a
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