- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The proposed expansion of the University of Wyoming’s Rochelle Athletic Center would mean changes for the War Memorial, “Cowboy Tough” statue and landscaping at War Memorial Stadium.

Plans for a new High Altitude Performance Center stretching from the south end of the Rochelle Athletic Center to the north end of War Memorial Stadium require clearing space and moving the War Memorial, said Marty Martinez, project coordinator for the UW Veterans Services Center.

“We have formed a committee and are working with the Athletics Department for the movement of the memorial and where it will be placed,” he said.

John Hursh, who regularly volunteers with Veteran Services, is leading the group.

The committee has not yet met with planners in the athletic department, partly because the design process has not begun.

“We hope to begin design around July 1,” Larry Blake, director of UW Facilities Planning, says in an email. “Construction could potentially begin around July 1, 2016.”

The War Memorial is broadly set to go near the south end of the stadium, Martinez said, but the exact location is currently unknown.

“I think it’s a good spot,” Martinez told the Laramie Boomerang (http://bit.ly/1IngZln). “We got a lot of traffic on the north end, but there might be a better opportunity for us (on the southern end).”

One of those opportunities could be an expansion of the memorial.

“Currently, there are names of fallen soldiers from World War II from Wyoming,” Martinez said. “We wanted to expand to those fallen in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the current conflict - make it more inclusive.”

While it has not been discussed, the iconic cannon could also accompany the memorial to the southern end of the stadium, Martinez said, but he is happy to be a part of the moving process.

“I’m happy they were able to include us,” he said, “so if they we do make some changes to (the memorial) and it does bring it up to date, myself and John (Hursh) can represent the younger generation of veterans, especially on campus.”

The “Cowboy Tough” statue at the north end zone could also be moved to another location, said UW spokesperson Chad Baldwin, but should be displayed “in a prominent fashion.”

Several spruce trees in the same area will likely be lost, Blake said.

“New landscape features are anticipated to be provided to the west and east of the expansion to replace some of the trees that will be lost,” he said.

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com

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