Committee Considers Two State Facilities Upgrade

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Evanston’s State Hospital and Lander's Life Resource Center are set to receive a combined: 121 million dollar renovation for both facilities.

We looked at legislators who are doing their best to keep the project under budget as estimates right now sit at more than 130 million dollars.

Both the State Hospital and the Life Resource Center house clients in old and barely sufficient facilities.

Danny Eyre, Representative from House District #19, “The State Hospital in Evanston, the buildings that are in use now, many of them are nearly a century old and badly in need of renovation and upgrade.”

Lloyd Larsen, Representative House District #54, “Evanston is close to a seismic region and those old historic buildings are not designed for earthquake capacities and we’ve got administration still in them and it just makes us nervous.”

However a budget set last year at 121 million dollars for renovations has run into un-foreseen circumstances; geographical issues driving up the price and worrying legislators.

“Clay is nasty and we’re just going to have a little different design on our foundations on some of the building here in lander, well that drives up the estimate and that wasn’t available at the time, and that drives up the estimate and that wasn’t available at the time of the design but we have it now and things like that that drive it up.”

“The construction and design documents are nearly 50 percent complete and we’re just trying to find ways to make the final product fit within the budget that was originally allocated.”

When the construction plans are put up for bid this December, Larsen said Wyoming contractors will get the first nod.

“People of Wyoming have asked me several times, you know are Wyoming contractors going to be able to build these facilities and that’s certainly our intent we want Wyoming contractors to build them.”

Construction is scheduled to start next spring; Larsen said they can’t afford to delay any longer because waiting another year could raise costs as much as eight percent with inflation.

Both facilities’ house patients need mental evaluation and care; the State Hospital for dangerous mental clients and the Life Resource Center for mentally deficient clients who need constant care more than a regular community facility could provide.