Aug 9, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterWith a broad view of the Riverton Valley in the background, ceremonial shovels dug into the dirt Friday morning at the site of what will be the Wind River Job Corps Center.
A groundbreaking ceremony at the Airport Road site united an extensive, collaborative team of government officials, tribal leaders, city and state officials, energy company representatives, and department of labor and education representatives who were recognized for their roles in moving the project forward.
Shovels and hard hats lined up at the trail of mounted dirt for Riverton's Mayor Ron Warpness, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Fremont County Board of Cooperative Educational Services director Sandy Barton, Northern Arapaho Business Council member Willard Gould, contractors, state legislators, city staff and education officials.
"The biggest thing is that this community, this area and Wyoming have the
foresight and the drive and the ingenuity to put together this project, and it's come to fruition today and all of you deserve the credit for it," Enzi said, adding that the participation of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes was a major contribution to the project.
Warpness mentioned that he came across many people who told him the center would never come to Riverton, but he was glad he would be proving them wrong.
"(There's) a strong positive confirmation and (we) say 'yes it will. We were right. They were wrong,'" Warpness said.
As he held back tears in his speech and described the center as a "great, long, overdue celebration" he said that the center not only would bring positive financial impact to the community but a greater impact on young lives in Wyoming.
The center will provide academic assistance and career and technical training to as many as 300 students at once, ages 16-24. Barton reiterated to attendees of the ceremony that initial attempts for the construction of the center began as early as 2004, with a more firm push by Sen. Enzi in 2007. She said constant phone calls, networking, and cooperation among key people advanced the project to the expected completion date of 2015.
The low bid for the estimated $41.3 million project was received and granted to Rafter H Construction of Rexburg, Idaho.
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