Construction workers place steel on the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus’ new academic building Wednesday. The 60,000-square-foot building’s foundation is expected to be finished this week as construction starts to go vertical.

Photo by Scott Franz

Construction workers place steel on the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus’ new academic building Wednesday. The 60,000-square-foot building’s foundation is expected to be finished this week as construction starts to go vertical.

CMC Alpine Campus' new building is going vertical in Steamboat

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Construction crews work on Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus' new academic building Wednesday. The 60,000-square-foot building's foundation is expected to be finished this week as construction starts to go vertical with steel.

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Construction workers place steel on the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus’ new academic building Wednesday. The 60,000-square-foot building’s foundation is expected to be finished this week as construction starts to go vertical.

— Standing on a top story deck of Bristol Hall on Wednesday afternoon, it was easy for Brian Hoza to point to the concrete outline of the stairways, elevator shafts, hallways and auditorium that will be part of the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus’ new 60,000-square-foot academic building.

Hoza, dean of student affairs for the Alpine Campus, also was able to point to a line of vertical steel beams that will reach up to the roof of the three-story building being constructed below him.

“You can see the excitement that’s generated on campus by this development because everyone is really starting to see the presence and the shape of the building now,” he said. “It’s taking shape in a way they can all visualize.”

Construction crews on Tuesday started to erect the steel frame of what will be the front of the $18 million facility and are expected to finish pouring its foundation this week. Hoza, who attends weekly meetings about the building’s construction, said that after the concrete is poured, the public easily will be able to imagine what the finished building will look like in July 2012.

“We are starting to go vertical,” he said.

Workers now will start to build up and enclose each floor of the building so work can continue into the winter, Hoza said. Crews also are installing a manifold inside the building to connect its heating system to a geoexchange field that harnesses energy from temperature changes in the soil hundreds of feet below the building.

“We’re on schedule, and soon, we will witness the number of people working on the project increase because more trades will start to be involved,” Hoza said.

Alpine Campus officials last month announced the college had secured enough funding to erect a 286-seat auditorium inside the new facility on its third level.

CMC’s ongoing construction project this year eliminated about 50 parking spots on campus, and Hoza said college officials are working with the city of Steamboat Springs to give students an option to park at three off-site locations and then ride Steamboat’s free bus to class. He said the reduced parking capacity on campus so far has not been an issue for students, but as snow becomes more common, the college anticipates parking spaces will be harder to come by.

Hoza said locations the college has identified as potential parking areas include a lot at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue, the Stock Bridge Transit Center and a downtown lot near Lincoln Park.

— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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