Laramie County Community College released a plan to acquire Laramie-based WyoTech with the release of a prospectus. The prospectus outlines the support the college will need in both the short term and long term from the state, Albany County and the city of Laramie, and WyoTech’s current owner.
Albany County Campus Associate Vice President Brady Hammond said the plan needs to happen as detailed in the prospectus or would need to happen in a similar manner. He also said that acquiring does not equal purchasing WyoTech.
If LCCC is to acquire WyoTech from its parent company, Education Credit Management Company, more funding is required. LCCC is thus asking that Wyoming’s other community colleges still receive the same level of funding by expanding the funding pool. Additionally, the community college system must remain as it is, and all policy and funding must be in place for the plan to work, the prospectus said.
“Automotive technology education is an expensive field,” Hammond said. “And LCCC doesn’t have the money to fund Wyotech on their own, so we’ll need to work with the city, state or county to help maintain WyoTech.”
Operating expenses for WyoTech under LCCC is projected at $4,712,798 with revenue projected at $501,979. This would leave an approximate deficit of $4.2 million.
The prospectus outlines the following major conditions that LCCC would need to make the acquisition of WyoTech work and close the $4.2 million funding gap.
- WyoTech would need to donate its current assets to LCCC.
- WyoTech would need to deeply discount the cost of the lease for its instructional facilities, which would reduce the operating deficit by as much as $1.7 million.
- WyoTech would need to discount the cost of its housing complex to $273,921 for the first two years and $547,842 for every year after.
- The Wyoming Legislature would need to appropriate nearly $8.5 million total through fiscal year 2021, to be paid at various times over a three-year span.
Additionally, the prospectus says that Albany County and the City of Laramie would have to provide ongoing tax revenue after 2021 to help make up for budget shortfalls under the community college funding model.
Hammond said “All funding will probably be a combination of local and state funding, but how it will pool together, I really couldn’t say.”Another requirement is to shift WyoTech’s focus from a national level to a local level. Hammond said this change would line up with the mission of LCCC.
“This is about supporting our community and transforming the lives of our learners,” he said.
According to a recent report in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, WyoTech’s parent company is examining the proposal but has yet to respond.