CNCC to rebid residence halls

College officials 'uncomfortable' with design-build process


— It's back to the bids for Colorado Northwestern Community College.

College authorities recently decided to rebid the Craig campus' residence hall, which will be constructed on a 100-acre parcel west of Craig.

The college abandoned the design-build process for a more traditional approach, CNCC president John Boyd said.

As a result, the student residence building, estimated to cost $850,000, probably won't open this fall, Boyd said.

"We weren't comfortable with the (design-build) process," he said. "We thought that maybe instead of going too fast, we'd slow down and do the process right."

The college's initial plan included bidding the building's architecture and construction together, completing the building "all in one big process," Boyd said.

The process, however, would have produced a tentative design college officials feared wouldn't have been detailed enough, he said.

"We were afraid the change orders : would kill us," Boyd said. "We weren't really sure what we would get."

In the new plan, the architecture bid process would go first, followed by the construction bid process. That's the procedure normally used for building projects across the state, Boyd said.

College officials had narrowed down two contractors when they decided to change course.

"They were excellent companies," Boyd said, adding that the decision was not related to the contractors.

College officials followed state procedures when bidding the project, he said.

College officials will begin meeting with architects next week to generate interest in the project. Qualifications from architects are due at the month's end.

"I think with as simple (a design) we're looking at, it would be a fairly straightforward, easy process," Boyd said. "Ultimately, we wanted to make sure we know what we're getting."

Although August was set as the building's initial opening date, the change could delay the building's opening until spring 2009.

So far, no one has signed up for residence hall housing, said Christine Mixon, CNCC administrator.

"We'll work with people on that," Boyd said, adding that the money they put down for rooms may be applied to other college expenses.

Higher Ed commission OKs CNCC request

On April 11, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education approved a $1.9 million funding request for CNCC's proposed academic building at the Craig campus.

Architectural and engineering costs make up the college's request. If funding is approved by the state's Joint Budget Committee, the building could be ready by 2012.

CNCC's request ranked sixth out of 13 "top priority" building projects for colleges and universities across the state, according to a state news release.

All 13 projects received the Commission's approval, said John Karakoulakis, Colorado Department of Education legislative affairs director.

Participation certificates backed by federal mineral lease revenues will fund the projects, which total about $200 million.

The list must pass the state's Capital Development Committee before passing to the Budget Committee for further approval, Karakoulakis said, adding that the approval process takes several months.

"I think this process may be quicker," Karakoulakis said. "I'm just not sure on the time it would take" to finalize the funding sources.

A companion bill yet to be introduced will determine if the construction list will go before the governor in a budget list or long bill, he said.

Before the budget went to the Committee, Craig Campus Dean Gene Bilodeau said he believed the academic building was in "a pretty secure place" on the state's capital projects list.

CNCC's place on the list was good news, Boyd said, adding that he hoped the project would receive state approval.


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