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CMC negotiations continue

Owner: College still talking about acquiring location

Colorado Mountain College student Westley Thompson walks toward Willett Hall between classes Monday afternoon. As part of the college’s planned expansion

Colorado Mountain College student Westley Thompson walks toward Willett Hall between classes Monday afternoon. As part of the college's planned expansion, scheduled to begin in June 2011, a new geoexchange facility likely would replace Bogue, Monson and Willett halls on the Steamboat Springs Alpine Campus.
John F. Russell

— Colorado Mountain College officials are continuing to negotiate with owners of the property at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue.

College officials have indicated the site could be used to lo­­cate a second access road to the Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs. The access road is required in conjunction with the construction of a planned 40,000-square-foot geoexchange facility on the campus. The city of Steamboat Springs said that secondary access is needed for fire and emergency services.

The college has identified 13th and Lincoln as its preferred site for the road. The 1.49-acre property there that includes a building housing four commercial businesses is owned by Harry and Mary Dike.

Their son, Harrison Dike, is handling the negotiations with the college. He said they haven't moved forward since the potential deal was first reported in the March 23 Steamboat Today.

"Right now, honestly, it's probably going to be another month before we have any progress either way," Dike said.

Dike said his parents and the college have since entered into a confidentiality agreement.

CMC Facilities Director Sam Skramstad declined to comment.

According to the Routt County Assessor's Web site, the property — including the land and buildings — was valued for tax purposes at $1.44 million in 2009. Tax value does not reflect actual market value. The Web site records also indicate the Dikes bought the property for $181,300 in 1981.

The four commercial businesses there are: Steamboat Tattoo, Twice as Nice Shoppe thrift store, The Water Store and Steamboat Stoveworks.

If an agreement isn't reached, the college could start eminent domain proceedings. Alpine Campus CEO Peter Perhac has said eminent domain is a possibility, but the college would prefer to negotiate with the property owners.

Skramstad said that the college, however, is moving forward with plans for the facility that will be built using geoexchange heating and cooling technology. It likely will replace the more than 40-year-old Bogue, Willet and Monson halls, college officials have said.

He said the college is interviewing architectural firms to design the facility that will be awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification of at least silver.

CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said a committee formed to review bids for the project will select a firm, but the budget has to be approved by the college's Board of Trustees. College officials have said the total cost, which includes constructing the facility and access road and retrofitting Bristol Hall with geoexchange, will cost $20 million.

College officials haven't de­­termined exactly what services the new building would provide. Possibilities include a main entry hub; offices for administration, student affairs, registration and admission; a 300-seat assembly hall auditorium; an exercise facility, a bookstore and cyber cafe; a dining hall; a student union; a learning lab; a wellness center; and classrooms for ski business, outdoor studies, resort management, emergency medical training, culinary arts, art, wellness and martial arts.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail