Campbell commissioners approve 6-month extension for Wyoming Innovation Center

Campbell County commissioners on Aug. 31 approve extensions for the Wyoming Innovation Center. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Innovation Center construction service completion date will be extended through December under an amendment Campbell County commissioners passed at the Senior Center Board meeting Wednesday.

Commissioner Del Shelstad said challenges in getting parts and labor prompted the extensions. Campbell County Grants Specialist Kristin Young said project workers haven’t yet been able to procure all the materials to complete construction. Young said she believes the construction service will be completed by December.

Wyoming Business Council Strategic Communications Amy Quick said that extending the construction date allows construction costs to be reimbursed with awarded funds for another six months past the June 2026 grant date.

“The construction expiration date ends three years prior to grant expiration and they have to mirror each other when we extend,” she said. “The grant date is mainly just for reporting requirements.”

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Shelstad said after the meeting that there may be a couple more pieces of equipment that are needed at the Wyoming Innovation Center and that with the grant extension, the county can use the funding for those equipment pieces as well.

The board’s action amends a grant agreement that Wyoming Business Council and Campbell County made in November 2017. According to the grant agreement, the Wyoming Business Council would provide Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program Community Readiness funds up to $1.5 million for the Wyoming Innovation Center. The grant funds helped Campbell County buy 9.5 acres in the Fort Union Industrial Park and construct the lab and office building and infrastructure for the Wyoming Innovation Center. The November 2017 agreement set a June 2019 completion date for construction service and an agreement expiration date of June 2024. Then, in October 2019, the county approved an amendment to extend the construction service completion through June 2022 and the grant agreement through June 2026.

Powder River Construction Project Superintendent Micky Shober wasn’t immediately available for comment. Powder River Construction is the general contractor for the Wyoming Innovation Center.

Clarification, Aug. 31: The Campbell County commissioners who conducted a meeting today with the Campbell County Senior Center Board made the unanimous decision.