Students at Eastern Wyoming College will have a new means of transportation around town this fall thanks to a recent bicycle drive.
“The bicycles are for any EWC student,” EWC Director of Institutional Development John Hansen said. “They can be checked out at the front desk of our dorms.”
The pilot project was started by EWC Foundation Director Kim Evezich.
“We had some international students (at EWC),” Evezich said. “One called me and asked me to pick them up and take them downtown, they didn’t have any transportation.”
Evezich asked herself, “How can international students get around?” There is no mass transit, so if they didn’t call someone, how do students who don’t have a vehicle get around Torrington?
Bicycles were the solution.
“She (Evezich) saw a need and it caught-on and the philanthropic spark has breathed life into connecting our students with our community,” Hansen said.
She approached the Foundation board and the EWC Board of Trustees with the idea. She also asked members of the Torrington Rotary Club to go through their garages and if there were bicycles not being used, donate them.
The EWC Foundation purchased four new bicycles and the Torrington Rotary Club donated seven used bicycles. The used bikes were taken to DG’s Bicycle Repair in Torrington.
“I put in thorn resistant tubes, cleaned the bicycles up and made any adjustments needed,” Dennis Grubbs of DG’s Bicycle Repair said. “Those tires will not go flat from a goat head, I guarantee it.”
The project was launched 10-days before EWC’s graduation in May. It will be expanded this fall, he added.
“The program is excellent,” Hansen said. “I wasn’t certain how en vogue riding bicycles would be with the college students, but from the first day it surpassed my expectations. Students were checking-out bicycles and getting out into the community. They were having dinner at our local restaurants and were using social media to catalog their experiences.”
This fall semester the bikes will be available for students needing transportation from the college campus to other areas in Torrington.
“The bicycle project illustrates the impact that our Foundation Directors have on our students and community,” Hansen said. “I look forward to where the project goes in the following years.”
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