Grand opening Thursday for CMC’s new academic center |

Grand opening Thursday for CMC’s new academic center

Mimi Hutton rings up textbooks Wednesday for Colorado Mountain College student Eric Cruz inside the college's new academic center. The campus will host a grand opening party for the new building at 4 p.m. Thursday.

— After two years of planning and 12 months of construction, Colorado Mountain College’s new academic center in Steamboat Springs is alive and ready for its inaugural school year.

On Wednesday, Colorado Mountain College students were getting their bearings in the new 60,000-square-foot building while CMC staff prepared to welcome an estimated 700 people inside for a grand opening party Thursday.

“I think CMC Steamboat has arrived,” CMC Alpine Campus CEO Peter Perhac said inside his new office that has sweeping views of Mount Werner and downtown Steamboat Springs.

He said community members already are walking the halls of the building, eating in the new dining hall and admiring the new classrooms and lounges.

“When we planned this building, we wanted for people to feel comfortable to come in here and hang out with us,” Perhac said. “I’m expecting this building will be hopping from 8 a.m. in the morning to 10 o’clock at night.”

The grand opening celebration starts at 4 p.m. Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the new academic center. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

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Perhac said a CMC alum, a college trustee and a member of the college’s fundraising foundation will then speak inside the new auditorium. Major donors to the building also will be recognized.

“After that, it’s party time,” Perhac said.

Many CMC staff members and administrators moved into the new building at the end of last month, and the new academic hub already has hosted new student orientation and several meetings.

As he bought books inside the campus store Wednesday afternoon, new student Eric Cruz, from Illinois, said he considers himself lucky to start school in a new building.

“This whole building is nice,” he said, noting that he’s already been briefed on how the building uses a geothermal heating and cooling system. “It’s super up-to-date.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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