A gymnasium built in 1971 that hosts regularly scheduled sporting events, graduations, and the annual Hozhoni Days Powwow and Pageant may be significantly expanded if funds for the project can be secured.
Officials at the four-year Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado say they would like to more than double the square footage of the current Whalen Gymnasium, but need state backing to proceed.
The building is said to be the most busy structure on campus, but has inadequate training and weight rooms, among others things.
The college would like to build a $57.5 million expansion of the facility, adding 45,000 square feet that would go up in two phases, with the first phase costing around $31 million.
In a bid for state support, Fort Lewis College officials have presented plans for the gymnasium project to members of the Colorado Legislature’s capital development committee.
That committee is tasked with prioritizing higher education facility funding. The top five projects signed off by the committee will almost certainly be included in Governor John Hickenlooper’s preliminary 2018-19 budget.
If funding for the Whalen Gymnasium is approved, it would mean that Colorado would be paying for over $25 million of the first phase construction costs, with $3 million going to the design and engineering of that phase.
Ultimately, Fort Lewis College would like to end up with a total 120,000 square foot facility that will include room for a biometrics lab, faculty
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