Thoughts on proposed NWC student center

Submitted by Carol Bendick
Posted 7/18/19

Dear Editor:

There is much more to be said for a new library, and much less need for an expensive building, $10 million estimated cost, pretexted as a collegiate student union. Powell does need a …

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Thoughts on proposed NWC student center


Dear Editor:

There is much more to be said for a new library, and much less need for an expensive building, $10 million estimated cost, pretexted as a collegiate student union. Powell does need a new library, one with plenty of additional area space for expansion and development. One hopes that per the figures shared with me, those responsible for a new library consider allowing more area space for growth, expansion, development, than was shared with me.

I think about how little flat area space a quart of water occupies in a cylindrical container by comparison to how spread out that same amount of water becomes in a flat rectangular container such as a casserole baking dish. I would hate to see the contents of the present library spread out in a new library, and have little if any unused area for expansion or growth.

I suggest that those responsible for a new library allow the present site, the intersection of Third and Clark Streets, to be considered, at least, for a Kidz Korner gathering place and facility, for children. It is across the street from the middle school, in close proximity to Makerspace, and the new library should it acquire a parking lot nearby, while under the protective scrutiny of local gendarmes.

The Kidz Korner facility and gathering place could offer a drive or walk through the area to pick up brown bag breakfasts and Powell Valley Healthcare could offer a year-round free meal, not necessarily lunch, program there.

It bothers me, for one, that 10 millions of dollars is being misappropriated to a shrine for “death for money cult,” and bricks and concrete, while that same amount of revenues could allow ag students, business students, law and accounting students to invest some of that money to purchase a farm for themselves, farm machinery, seeds et al. The school of agriculture could also invest in hydroponic and green house farming procedures. I fancy a mere one of those $10 million being spent on a large combine, painted pink in the factory, and affectionately dubbed, the PINK PANTHER, for the female agriculture and FFA students and members.

This would be in accordance with the University of Wyoming’s collaboration to develop a four-year agricultural program here at Powell. Such ventures would allow the kids to apply class room learned concepts in real world situations.

The kids in the business, law and accounting departments could then do the purchasing, accounting, bookkeeping and legalities for such ventures. Solar panels, windmills and design, construction of such could be assigned to electrical, mechanical and physics engineering students.

There are three, when last I consulted the realtors’ listings, tilled farm acreages along U.S. Highway 14-A which could be purchased, singularly or as a three-part package, which would expand NW College’s participation in Laramie’s four year agricultural school program for NW College. The fields are visible from the highway, which would allow the kids to show off their learned farming skills, allow them to develop and improve upon such.

It would be awesome to see a humongous PINK PANTHER, that is, combine, come rolling through some or other vintage crop designated for cash income crops. Billboards, if allowed, could indicate that such fields are the kids’ collegiate farm, and a large arrow pointing in the appropriate direction, “Laramie’s bulgar, that way ...” Just one idea for some friendly competition.

The kids would be earning their tuitions and would have some substantial learning to take with them when they continue their educations elsewhere. The fields could include orchards with fruit trees, vines such as grape, bushes such as blueberry, and plants that yield fruit such as strawberries. This brings life into the college, the community of Powell, and Park County.

Compare the above with $10 million being misappropriated to a shrine for a “death for money ...” cult, and monetary waste for inanimate bricks and concrete. There is no life or growth in such.

The kids would be allowed to do some PR with the community by contributing some of their harvests with Loaves and Fishes, the senior center and the school lunch programs. Learning to care about and take care of each other is an understated and underrated passion.

Auctions for vintage farming equipment are held in farming states. The tractors and plows may be vintage, but they are repaired to pristine condition, and the purchase prices would allow for the acquisition of several tractors, plows, grain wagons, etc, by comparison to the cost of new equipment in today’s market.

Were Homesteader Museum and Mule Days to collaborate with the purchase of one of those farm fields, they could demonstrate pioneer farming methods with horse, mule, or ox drawn equipment. Persons in vintage costumes could serve apple, peach, apricot butter prepared with vintage cookware. They would not have to utilize the entirety of the acreage to antiquated farming methods.

It seems to me that making a choice for life is better than making a choice for death, such as trapping for money to invest in bricks, mortar and concrete. There is no life in that; with the decrease in college enrollment, which is not consistent with the recent publicized statement that NWC has the highest retention of students, will there even be a Northwest College in the near future.

There may be a conglomerate of large, costly buildings, crumbling and deteriorating, but life is the students. Better to take the curriculums over the top. We have the brain power to do so, and Laramie has offered the opportunity to do so, than to waste hard to come by revenues on concrete, and a shrine to death for money.

The existing student center could, with a facelift and a makeover, accommodate an increased dining area as needed were the entire building allocated to dining. The book store, stairwell, patio areas could become part of a dining hall. The redo and make-over shouldn’t cost more than $3 million, and certainly no more than $5 million. The book store and other frills could be relocated in the Yellowstone Building, perhaps.

Food for thought.

Carol Bendick