CMC facility in Steamboat back on track

College officials await City Council decision about agreement

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— The administrative and classroom building proposed for Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs has been given the green light.

CMC President Stan Jensen said that planning for the 50,000-square-foot facility that would use geoexchange heating and cooling technology and the secondary access road has resumed. He made the announcement during a conference call Monday after the college’s Board of Trustees met in Glenwood Springs.

“Those are back on track,” Jensen said. “We’re delighted with that.”

He said the next step is soliciting bids for a contractor and making a selection, but one piece of business remains unfinished.

The Steamboat Springs City Council will consider a first reading to dissolve the intergovernmental agreement with CMC during a meeting tonight.

The agreement, signed in 1997, requires the college to go through the city planning process for development projects.

The City Council expressed support for the dissolution with a 6-0 vote Nov. 2.

Councilwoman Meg Bentley was absent for that vote, which directed city staff to create the formal ordinance that will be presented tonight.

Also at that meeting, the City Council supported the Crawford Avenue spur as the secondary access road for the campus.

The intergovernmental agreement requires a secondary access, in addition to the primary access of Bob Adams Drive. College officials initially had planned the secondary access for 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue.

CMC backed away from that road site because of concerns raised by the City Council and members of the public at a meeting in September. The college also couldn’t reach an agreement with the property owners to buy the site, and officials said constructing the road there was cost prohibitive with an estimated price tag of $8 million.

The estimated cost for the Crawford spur, which would be 24 feet wide and include a 6-foot-wide detached sidewalk, is $1 million to $1.5 million.

With the access road in question and the intergovernmental agreement on the table, CMC officials previously mentioned the possibility of splitting up the Steamboat campus and adding a satellite location somewhere else in Steamboat or moving the campus outside city limits.

With the pending dissolution of the intergovernmental agreement, Jensen said the college is committed to the Alpine Campus, which has the capacity to meet the college’s local needs for the next 20 to 30 years.

Jensen said he hopes the college will break ground on the new facility and access road in June with occupation expected for fall 2012.

Reporter Mike Lawrence contributed to this story.

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