Among those appearing before Northern Wyoming Community College District trustees in their budget hearing earlier this week was David Horning, president of the Gillette College Foundation.
But rather than asking college district trustees to reconsider a decision to cut Division I athletics from Gillette and Sheridan colleges, and terminate Gillette College’s Energy City Voices show choir, Horning said the college foundation had committed to fund both programs at Gillette College.
Horning said the Foundation’s commitment was to provide the funds necessary to pay salaries and benefits for the athletic program coaches as well as for the director and assistant director of Energy City Voices.
He said the commitment also extended to restoring the Pronghorns rodeo coach to full-time status and reimbursing program expenses as they are incurred. He said the estimated amount needed is just over $530,000.
Horning expressed confidence that the community of Gillette would provide the funds needed.
College trustees listened to the proposal but took no action. Trustee Deb Wendtland, before voting to adopt the budget as presented for the year that started on July 1, said she could not support a solution that’s only partial for the district, referring to the fact that the Gillette proposal didn’t address the suspension of athletics at Sheridan College.
Wendtland said she also could not support a solution that wasn’t sustainable. Trustees Chairman Walt Wragge later said what’s needed is to find solutions for the entire district.