School enrollment up 30 students as energy workers migrate into community

Mike Moore photo
Colter Lewis (at left) and Terryn White join other students during the rush to head home for Christmas break at the end of the school day at Glenrock Intermediate School Dec. 19.

By Cinthia Stimson

The energy boom is treating Glenrock well, so well in fact that halfway through FY20, the Town of Glenrock has already collected 70% of their projected annual budget from sales taxes and they still have six months to go until the end of the cycle.
As of Dec. 11 the town had received $2.18 million in 1% sales and use tax for this fiscal year and $2.5 million in 4% sales and use tax, according to figures provided by town treasurer Kelly Lewis.
Last year at this time, the town had collected a total of $3.18 million in the 1% and 4% sales and use taxes, officials said.
And, it’s not just the town government who is thriving right now – Converse County School District No. 2 is seeing an uptick in enrollment by about 30 extra students from this time last year.
CCSD2 Superintendent Coley Shadrick said enrollment has fluctuated somewhat this year, but he confirms the district’s student body has increased.
“We are up by about 30 children on average right now. Last year we ended the year with 606 kids and as of Dec. 2 we are at 634 kids,” he said.
He assumes it is due to the energy boom, he said, although he asserted he’s not an economic expert.
“Two years ago we were seeing a mass exodus. Now it’s growing again and has had a positive effect on us. Our community hasn’t brought in any new types of industry. Look at what’s changed in the last two years – its an increase in energy. That’s most likely why we are seeing more kids. Look at what’s going on in the industry,” he said.
Glenrock Chamber of Commerce Director Kristy Grant said she believes it’s fair to say the energy boom is the reason for the uptick in Glenrock’s economy, in her opinion.
New businesses have opened this year including Reid’s Red Hots, K & B Tire, ECI Electrical, Front Range Powerline, Bar 66 and others, she said. And the Fort Diablo Steakhouse reopened its doors this year, too, after closing down a little over a year ago.
To top it off, it’s Glenrock’s own residents who are following their entrepreneurial instincts and creating the new businesses and services, which in  turn add to the success of the local economy, she said.
“All of the new businesses are started by Glenrock natives, meaning they grew up here, did their journeyman’s elsewhere and came back to open their own companies,” Grant said.
There’s tangible and visible evidence to support the claims in addition to city numbers; parking lots at eating establishments are consistently filled, RV parks are full to capacity, housing is hard to come by and finding a decent parking spot downtown can be a challenge even at the best of times.
There’s more people in Glenrock.
According to the 2010 U.S. census, Glenrock’s population was estimated at 2,591 in 2017. Data for 2019 is unavailable, but anecdotal evidence suggests it’s higher.
“There’s been an uptick in business in town. The Fort Diablo Steakhouse is doing just great since they reopened. The Shoreliner’s business has increased. Cowboy State Brewing/4-Aces is doing really well with their commercial brewing ... really every business in town has picked up. What we see is that every rental in town is full. It’s almost impossible to find housing, let alone affordable housing at that. Finding office space or buildings to use for business is hard. It’s very difficult to find new space,” she explained.
The energy boom in Converse County has provided people with much-needed jobs; those people need  places to live, restaurants to dine at and stores to purchase necessities and other sundries at.
“Most people don’t cook when they’re working long shifts, they’re just too tired so they eat out. That’s advantages for the restaurants in town. Electrical contractor ECI put in new RV spots to have places for the out-of-town workers to live. The economy is definitely swinging up and it helps grocery stores, gas stations – really every element of our community. It’s helping new businesses grow and prosper,” she concluded.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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