Archer Complex Background
Archer Complex: A Facility for the Community
In November of 2004, the Laramie County Commissioners made a historic purchase from the University of Wyoming of 875 acres of land located along the south side of Interstate 80 at the Archer interchange. The Commissioners realized that this property provided an important opportunity for the County to offer its citizens a regional recreational facility that would include space for the County Fairgrounds as well as room for future government operations. With this vision in mind, a Special Purpose Optional Tax (SPOT) measure was placed before the voters. In May of 2008, County residents approved a Special Purpose Tax to fund Phase 1 site infrastructure improvements as well as the development of administrative buildings, a public works maintenance facility and a shooting park range at the Archer Complex.
In November of 2008, the Laramie County Board of Commissioners contracted with DLR Group to complete a facility study for the downtown County facilities and to prepare an overall master site plan for the future Archer Complex. The project was initiated with three main goals: 1) Identify the 20 year staffing and space needs for county functions and services; 2) Identify options for relocating county services and facilities to the Archer Complex; and 3) to prepare an overall master site plan for the Archer Complex.
The Laramie County Government Operations Facility Study Report is the result of a 5 month programming and planning process. The Study incorporates the mission and goals established by Laramie County and its constituent community members and public agencies. The County and DLR Group team spent three months leading workshops and meetings with County staff to determine future space needs. The existing downtown Cheyenne facilities were evaluated to determine ways to best use space in these existing buildings to accommodate future growth of County government departments which may remain downtown if and when other County government functions are relocated to the new Archer Complex. During this process, the County established a primary goal that any new development utilize sustainable design and construction practices.
The Historic County Courthouse and the Courthouse Annex, the center of operations for the County government, are at capacity. As Laramie County continues to grow, staff will need additional space to provide services to County citizens. . The existing public works facility located on Fox Farm Road, is in desperate need of modernization and improvements so that they can keep heavy equipment operating and continue to provide and improve services of keeping the County roads passable and safe.
The County Commissioners have seriously considered the information provided by Laramie County Government Operations Facility Study Report and have elected to support this plan as a guide for future investment to construct facilities that will allow the County to provide better service to our customers and residents and will create the necessary infrastructure improvements needed for the entire Archer Complex.
The Government Operations Facility Study Report includes three major components:
- A summary Program of Laramie County Staff projections, current and future space needs, and a analysis of government department location options;
- The Archer Special Use District Site Master Plan; and
- Energy Assessments for the existing downtown Cheyenne County Government buildings.
A Cost Estimate for development and energy enhancement projects at the Archer Complex, and also for the existing downtown Cheyenne Government Facilities, is contained in an Appendix to this report, along with narratives and preliminary floor plans for the Public Works, Shooting Sports Park and County Fairgrounds proposed projects at the Archer Site.
With the Laramie County Government Operations Facility Study Report now completed, work begins on formal design of the Phase 1 Archer Complex Improvements. It is expected that design for the first phase of improvements will begin in June of 2009 and actual construction would start in May of 2010.
The Master Plan for the Archer Complex utilizes a large oval parkway to efficiently move traffic from I-80 to the various sites and structures within the complex. The master plan currently identifies parcels for a Welcome Center, the Laramie County Fairgrounds, ball fields, a Shooting Sports Park & Education Center, a new Laramie County Public Works maintenance facility, a Motocross facility, County administrative buildings, future business development parcels, land banked for future County development and facilities, and open space.
The full development of the Archer Complex will occur over time, possibly as long as 25-30 years. The estimated cost to implement the entire program is nearly $200 million. This is not a project that will be completed overnight, however, it an investment in the County’s future. The Archer Complex will be designed to be a showcase project for Laramie County that will provide service and recreational opportunities for County residents for years to come.