Steamboat Springs The dust finally has settled.
Weeks after a festive grand opening celebration that attracted hundreds of community members, students and faculty at the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus are starting to settle into their new 60,000-square-foot academic center.
Culinary classes are being taught. Forums and lectures are being held in the new auditorium. Community members are attending dance and fitness classes in the new workout facilities and eating lunch in the dining hall that offers panoramic views of Steamboat Springs, Mount Werner and Howelsen Hill.
“It’s like it’s a whole new school now,” Steamboat Springs City Council member Sonja Macys said Tuesday.
Behind the scenes, fundraisers with the college still are working to raise $750,000 to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment for the campus’ new academic hub.
Macys and the City Council became some of the latest contributors to the college’s capital campaign earlier this month.
The city donated $15,000 to the campus to earn the naming rights to a conference room and is one of 22 major donors with a naming right in the new building. And leaders of the ongoing fundraising effort to the college are quick to point out there are about 20 more things donors can earn the chance to name.
“It’s a big place,” CMC Foundation CEO Matt Spencer joked Tuesday.
Spencer has spearheaded the capital campaign that has raised about $2 million for the new building. Spencer said the down economy continues to be a factor in the campaign’s progress, but he’s proud of the donors who have come forward.
One of the first major donations he helped secure came from former Olympic skier Ryan Heckman, who wanted his gift to honor his former mentors Ed and Jayne Hill.
The Hills long have lent their time and support to Steamboat’s college campus.
And as the campaign carried on, Spencer found more donors who wanted to help transform the college they love by helping it to reach a $2.8 million fundraising goal.
“For me, personally, it has been a career highlight,” Spencer said about the fundraising campaign that he kicked off about 15 months ago. “The level of generosity put forth by the community has inspired me, and more importantly, it demonstrates the community’s interest in investing in the students at the Steamboat campus.”
Spencer said he is confident the college will be able to reach its $2.8 million fundraising goal by summer. The total represents 12 percent of the cost of the construction of the new academic center.
Now that construction has stopped and the doors to the building are open, Spencer said the fundraising campaign has grown a little more difficult.
“Certainly, it is more challenging once the building is out of the ground and up and running,” he said.
Spencer said that after the capital campaign is completed, he expects the fundraising arm of the college will turn its attention to seeking donations that can provide scholarships to students and additional funding for faculty.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com