February 1951: Community College Act passed by legislature
In 1951, the Wyoming legislature approved the Community College Act allowing the establishment of community college districts with legal bonding privileges and the authority to levy up to two and a half mills for operational support. The NWC mill levy was raised in 1964 to 3.73 mills, and again in 1965 to 4 mills, the current assessment.
May 1953: Northwest Community College District established
Northwest Community College was created, and its first board members elected, on May 12, 1953. The college referendum passed by a vote of 981-158. Northwest was now an autonomous institution, independent of both the university and the local school. The new college district's boundaries copied the Powell school district's.
July 1954: Northwest wins approval for first bond issue
The Powell community helped Northwest take its first step in establishing its current campus identity by approving on July 27, 1954, the college's first bond issue for construction of a building to house classrooms and administrative offices (now called the Orendorff Building) and a multi-purpose building (now known as the Johnson Fitness Center). An act of Congress was required to approve a complicated land swap between Northwest and the University of Wyoming. NWC is located on land originally granted to UW from the federal government.