Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge names outdoor classroom for Gene Baker |

Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge names outdoor classroom for Gene Baker

Breckenridge residents Rachel and Tim Gerken read the dedication sign at the Gene Baker Memorial Outdoor Classroom at CMC in Breckenridge on Sept. 27. Tim Gerken, a project manager at bhh Partners, worked with Gene Baker for several years before Baker died. “Gene was a mentor,” Gerken said. “He really impacted a lot of lives in positive ways.”
Courtesy of Kate Lapides |

A curving path leads from the Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge building to the new outdoor classroom next to Blue River, a carved-out amphitheater facing the water.

The outdoor classroom is named after the late Gene Baker, a longtime Breckenridge architect and CMC instructor. A set of three ski lift towers stand tall in the space that now bears his name. Close to 100 college employees, donors, friends and family members officially dedicated the Gene Baker Outdoor Classroom on Sept. 27.

Dave Askeland, CMC campus vice president in Breckenridge and Dillon, said not only will students taking outdoor education courses use the site, but classes from every discipline, from sustainability to history, can enjoy the outdoor setting.

“If you didn’t know my dad, among his many passions and at the top of his list was skiing and the mountains of Breckenridge,” said Gene Baker’s son, John Baker in a prepared statement. “[This outdoor classroom] is in a beautiful setting for people to learn.”

Baker’s former business partner Marc Hogan estimated the cost of the outdoor classroom to be $50,000, donated by private funders.

Hogan said the lift towers — donated by Arapahoe Basin Ski Area — were a central part of the classroom, celebrating CMC’s outdoor education programs and Breckenridge’s ski industry history.

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