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Steamboat’s Colorado Mountain College to present new building

Public meeting will include plans, address questions

Officials from the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus will unveil tonight a planned $20 million dollar geoexchange facility.

If you go

What: CMC Alpine Campus geoexchange facility presentation

When: 6 to 8 p.m. today

Where: Citizens Room at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

— Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus officials will unveil the planned $20 million geoexchange facility during a presentation tonight.

The 45,000-square-foot facility, which will have gold Lead­­ership in Energy and Environ­­mental Design certification and was announced last fall, will be built on the campus off Bob Adams Drive.

Campus CEO Peter Perhac said H+L Architecture, of Den­ver, would present plans for the building and a topographical model at the meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Citizens Room at Centennial Hall. A Q-and-A session will follow the presentation.

Perhac said the building is planned to include: conference rooms, a student lounge with cafe, a bookstore, a dining hall and a 7,000-square-foot kitchen to accommodate a new culinary arts program on the third floor; classrooms for outdoor studies, ski business, hospital management, faculty offices, and an art studio on the second floor; and a one-stop shop for student services, including registration and bursar's office, in addition to two exercise rooms and a weight room on the first floor.

Perhac said a 300-seat auditorium would be located next to the building. He said a mechanical system would be able to move the movie-theater-like chairs into the wall to allow the room to be used for banquets or other activities. A three-story climbing wall would be designed on the outside of the building, Perhac said.

"We've put a lot of emphasis into community with this building," he said.

Also as part of the project, Bristol Hall is planned to be retrofitted with the geoexchange heating and cooling technology.

Perhac said the college plans to begin construction work in September on the secondary access road required by the city of Steamboat Springs for fire and emergency services, pending city approvals.

The college's preferred site for the road is off Lincoln Avenue from 13th Street. Residents Harry and Mary Dike own the 1.49-acre property at the intersection, which includes a commercial building with four businesses. The college has been negotiating to buy the property from the Dikes.

Perhac said he signed a confidentiality agreement and couldn't comment on the negotiations. But he added that the situation was not resolved and the Dikes' property remained the preferred site for the access road. The other site identified as a possibility is off Crawford Avenue from 12th Street.

Harry Dike said conversations with the college are ongoing, but he hasn't heard anything for a few weeks because the CMC representative handling the negotiations has been on vacation.

"At this point, it's been real quiet," he said. "They were trying to make some decisions on what they were going to do, but we haven't really heard yet. Everything is status quo. We're kind of in a holding pattern. We hope to hear something this week."

Dike said he plans to attend the meeting.

Perhac said groundbreaking for the building is scheduled for June 2011 with completion anticipated in July 2012. As part of the project, Monson and Bogue halls would be torn down.

He said Willett Hall was originally planned for demolition, but the building will accommodate CMC's bachelor's degree program. Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill last month approving the program that will allow CMC campuses to offer some four-year degrees.

Perhac said four-year degrees proposed for the Alpine Campus are business with an emphasis in resort management, ski business or accounting, and environmental sciences. He said education is on the horizon. Perhac said the four-year degree programs would be offered starting in fall 2011 after the yearlong accreditation, curriculum and course approval process by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.