“The region provides ample resources and a knowledgeable workforce. It’s the perfect destination for us to fulfill our mission to research and develop the commercialization of rare earth elements.”
—Tom Tarka, Engineer, National Energy Technology Laboratory

The Wyoming Innovation Center (WyIC), a 5,500-sq-ft coal commercialization facility, recently opened in Gillette, Wyo. Owned by Energy Capital Economic Development, the state-of-the-art WyIC features two buildings and seven demonstration sites for pilot plants, private companies and researchers to study coal products and rare earth element processes. The National Energy Technology Laboratory is one of the facility’s first tenants.

The site, located in the coal-rich Carbon Valley, creates a test bed for new and proven products produced from coal. The region is home to firms and researchers using coal and coal by-products to develop asphalt, graphene, graphite, agricultural char and carbon fiber.


Yuma School District Completes School Renovations

Yuma School District in northeastern Colorado recently completed its district-wide renovation project. Fort Collins-based design-build firm The Neenan Co. led architecture and construction for the district’s high school and pre-K-8 school buildings. The project provides 85,000 sq ft of modernized education space with enhanced safety and security, supporting the 900 pre-K-12th grade students in the Yuma School District.


Atkins Lands $31M Contract For I-70 Improvements

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has been awarded a six-year, $31-million contract to provide design engineering services for the Colorado Dept. of Transportation along the 10-mile Floyd Hill section of the I-70 mountain corridor. The main route from Denver to mountain resort areas, Floyd Hill is notorious for traffic congestion and gridlock and is prone to severe weather.


GTC Becomes 100% Employee-Owned Firm

GTC says it has converted to a 100% employee-owned company through a newly created employee stock ownership plan. The move to an ESOP will not change the management structure of GTC, and executive team members will remain in their current roles.


$3M in Funds Provided for Flood Damage in Idaho

roads and bridges damaged by heavy rains

The Idaho Transportation Dept. has received $3 million in “quick release” funds to repair roads and bridges damaged by heavy rains.
Photo Courtesy of Idaho Transportation Dept.

The Federal Highway Administration has announced $3 million in “quick release” emergency funds to help the Idaho Transportation Dept. repair roads and bridges damaged by recent floods. Extreme moisture, runoff and flooding occurred following June’s heavy rains in Nez Perce and Idaho counties that caused significant damage as well as creating dangerous travel conditions in the north central and northeast regions of the state. Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued a disaster declaration on June 22. Damaged roads include US-95, Gifford-Reubens Road, Southwick Road and Webb Road in Nez Perce County and Toll/Clear Creek Road in Idaho County.


Ryan Cos. Starts Work On Lakewood Apartments

Ryan Cos. US has started construction on a 151-unit multifamily project in Lakewood, Colo. Located at 13th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard, the project is near one of the busiest intersections in the area and adjacent to an RTD light rail station. The 133,560-sq-ft, six-story apartment building will include an automated vehicle-parking stacker system that allows residents to retrieve their vehicles with the touch of a key fob, eliminating the need for multiple levels of underground parking. KTGY is the architect of record, and Studio4D has been engaged as the interior designer for the common space interiors and apartment finishes.


Boulder County Updates Building Regs for Wildfires

The Boulder County Commissioners have approved an update to the ignition-resistant requirements for construction in Wildfire Zone 2, which comprises the eastern area of unincorporated Boulder County, Colo. The update was prompted by recent wildfires, including the Marshall Fire. The changes guide the use of approved exterior materials and construction for inclusion into Boulder County Building Code Amendments to the 2015 International Codes. The updates apply only to unincorporated areas of Boulder County.


Howell Completes UCHealth Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Project in Aurora

Howell Construction recently completed the UCHealth Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute (RMLEI) project, a center for vision research, education and care.

The multiphased renovation included more than 36,000 sq ft of the RMLEI facility, consisting of check-in and check-out stations, waiting rooms, over 50 exam rooms, procedure rooms, offices, medical records, meeting and conference rooms, break rooms and lounges, locker rooms, storage rooms and new restrooms.

Three Firms Picked for $1.4B Utah Railroad Project AECOM will deliver the final design other than tunnels for the 88-mile-long, $1.35-billion Uinta Basin Railway in Utah, says Rio Grande Pacific Corp. A Skanska-WW Clyde joint venture will build the railroad, other than the tunnels, while Obayashi Corp. will provide final design and construction of the tunnels. The single-track railroad will serve mineral, energy, agricultural, construction and manufacturing industries.