This is our future
Tuesday, March 03, 2020
BY TARA HUTCHISON
LINGLE – The Lingle Community Center welcomed the public for refreshments, building blueprints and letters from Sen. Mike Enzi and Sen. John Barrasso in congratulating the town on the project’s completion.
On Feb. 6, the Lingle Community Center officially opened its doors with a grand opening ceremony filled with community members, Lingle Town Council and Mayor George Siglin thanked everyone involved in the project, and described the timeline for the project from start to finish.
The lengthy process of creating a community building to last through the years for the next generation began in the Spring of 2017 and was finally finished in January.
Siglin said the process of rebuilding the community center started with recognizing the problems with the building and pursuing funding.
There were several people who played an integral part in the process who are no longer working with the town, such as former clerk Michelle Sussex, who handled the majority of the grant paperwork, Siglin said. The town was awarded over $365,000 through various grants. Grants paired with donations paid for the rest of the project, which came in under budget at around $950,000.
“This really was a team effort. At Economic Development we say our mission is to communicate, collaborate, educate and connect. And it was really a big collaboration that brought this together,“ Lisa Miller, Goshen County Economic Development CEO, said. “Congratulations to all of you, especially the town of Lingle, for coming together and getting this done.”
Siglin said after the grant process was started and Economic Development became involved, the project had to go through Benchmark of Torrington to handle the engineering portion and seek approval through the Wyoming Business Council.
Cactus Covello was, at the time, the Co-Chair of the Wyoming Business Council. “It wasn’t hard to sell this to the WBC once they understood what the town of Lingle was about,” Covello said. “It’s about people caring for their community and it’s about enhancement that’s extremely important to make this community whole.”
Following the visit to the WBC, the project still had to get approval from the State Land and Investment Board, which consists of the State of Wyoming’s top five elected offi cials.
With the involvement and help from many, the SLIB was presented with the fact that if Lingle was not able to do the project, it would be the only town in Goshen County without a community building - and the ball was rolling.
Siglin said the first donation to the community center was from Gov. Mark Gordon, who was serving as the Secretary of State at the time.
After funding was in place for the project, building plans were drawn up. Siglin said there were four bids for the project’s construction. Norb Olind Construction of Wheatland placed the lowest bid. Anderson Carpet of Lingle handled the flooring and tiling in the bathrooms, and Newcomb HVAC installed the heating and cooling. Quick Draw Masonry handled the brickwork.
The construction was a difficult process due to a wet spring in 2019, Siglin said.
“We tried to use mostly local contractors,” Siglin said.
Wyoming Secretary of State Edward Buchanan, a Lingle native, joined his community for the grand opening.
“One of my favorite things to do is sit on the SLIB Board,” Buchanan said. “It’s one of the best aspects of my job is helping the local communities invest in themselves. So you ought to give yourselves a great round of applause. Thank you for the invitation and thanks for all that you do.”
Also in attendance was Wyoming House District 5 Representative Shelly Duncan, who told stories of her experiences in the old community center while she was growing up in the area, and raising her kids with the Lingle community.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this community, I’m proud of what we can do together as a group and the things that we can accomplish,” she said.
Before concluding his speech, Siglin credited all of the other individuals who contributed to the project, and mentioned two letters from Sen. Mike Enzi and Sen. John Barrasso to send their congratulations to the town that were sitting in frames with the building blueprints.
Barbara Dyer and Jane Dorn, members of the Goshen County Quilters, presented a quilt with numerous American flags covering it to the community center to hang on the walls.
Siglin invited kids from Lingle to officially cut the ribbon.
“This building, if it lasts 100 years - which I’m sure it will - or more, these are the ones that are going to get to use it a lot,” Siglin said. “So we weren’t just building to replace an old one – we on the council are planning for the future, and folks, this is our future right here.”