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Casper College CMAR Choice Prompts Critism [AUDIO]

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

The heat was on again Thursday from the local construction industry as Casper College announced its choice for Construction Manager at Risk for the next phase of campus construction.

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The special meeting of the Casper College Board heard the recommendation from its 35 member selection committee. A-P of Wyoming was the choice, an affiliate of Adolf and Peterson, headquartered in Minneapolis to head up construction of a new student union.  While AP Wyoming holds an office in Cheyenne several at the meeting questioned its ties to the state. With a new Wyoming contractor preference law now in place those questions become more relevant. Casper College President, Walter Nolte, noted that AP’s General Manager, John Haass Sr., has been involved in construction on the college campus over the years and his son, Jon Haass Jr., a Casper College graduate, would serve as AP’s construction superintendent.

That, however, wasn’t enough to placate some at the meeting concerned that too much of the 80 to 100 million dollars being spent over the next few years on major college construction will end up out of state. 32 million will be spent in this next phase.

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

Bill Schilling, President of the Wyoming Business Alliance, suggested that when voters approved a 35 million dollar bond issue for the college in 2008 they likely didn’t expect that primary design and construction would go to firms with relatively weak ties to the state.

President Nolte, in turn, maintains that the choice reflects a desire to spend the tax payers money well. Board members approved the recommendation on a 4-2 vote.

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