CMC chooses Frisco location |

CMC chooses Frisco location

Summit Daily/Reid Williams

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” When Colorado Mountain College (CMC) officials look into their crystal ball, they see the town of Frisco.

The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to build a new, consolidated facility in Frisco and to phase out the existing college buildings in Dillon’s and Breckenridge’s downtowns.

“This is a wonderful early Christmas present,” said Frisco town manager Michael Penny. “We are extremely excited, and we look forward to working with (CMC dean Leah Bornstein) to get some folks together to start hashing out an agreement.”

The board’s decision was the culmination of a yearlong public process to set a direction for the college’s future.

“The strong points for maintaining two sites were convenience and access,” Bornstein said. “But the strong point for consolidation was that campus feel ” the culture of all the students and faculty being in one spot, the good learning that can take place when everybody’s together, not having to worry about scheduling between two buildings and half an hour of driving time.

“That’s the strongest and most emotional appeal from students and community members,” Bornstein added.

But many details remain to be negotiated before the first stone in Frisco is laid. The board’s decision to move to Frisco is contingent upon the town’s donation of a parcel of land. And the college must negotiate exit plans from its existing properties in Dillon and Breckenridge with those towns.

“We want to work with the town of Dillon to make sure we phase out appropriately in a way that’s fair to the college and fair to the town,” Bornstein said.

Dillon courted the college to consolidate in its downtown, but college surveys indicated students strongly preferred Frisco. The town of Breckenridge will most likely take over the existing CMC Breckenridge center to expand its municipal office space.

The two most viable Frisco spots for CMC are the “10-acre parcel” ” actually 9.4 acres ” behind Safeway and Wal-Mart and the existing Summit Medical Center on Summit Boulevard, to be vacated eventually, pending the completion of a new hospital and medical campus a few miles south. The town already owns the 9.4 acres.

St. Anthony/Centura Health and a group of doctors own the medical center site, so the town would have to purchase it in order to offer it to CMC.

“Those are the two options we see at this point,” said Frisco Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen. “The next step will be to get council’s take and see if we can figure it all out. There are not a lot of big parcels left in Frisco, so we have to be judicious with the ones we have. But we think CMC will be good for Frisco and that Frisco will be good for CMC.”

CMC board chair Doris Dewton agreed.

“I think it’s a good plan,” Dewton said. “The board is persuaded that a single, consolidated facility makes the most sense for Summit County. The Breckenridge and Dillon facilities have limitations. Even if we spend a lot of money on the Breckenridge facility, it wouldn’t really give us what we need.”

The college will continue to hold classes in other locations as appropriate, like English acquisition in Silverthorne, for example.

“The consolidated facility is going to serve as a huge outreach facility to provide other classes throughout the community,” CMC board member Dick Bateman said.

CMC’s tentative timeline includes a formal planning process that would begin in 2006, groundbreaking in 2007 and completion of construction in 2008 or 2009.

“All the towns have been extremely supportive in this process. This was truly a community effort the whole way. From my perspective, it makes me really proud to be here,” Bornstein said.

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970)

668-3998, ext. 203, or at

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