New CMC campus in Breck delayed
BRECKENRIDGE – Officials working on Colorado Mountain College’s new Summit Campus in Breckenridge likely have a moment to breathe, making the decision to put off construction groundbreaking until March or April of next year.”It give us more of an opportunity to bring the community in and educate the communities on the amenities,” said CMC’s Dean Leah Bornstein, Ph.D. “We will still be moving forward. It just gives us six months for planning.”Previously, the groundbreaking for the potentially 40,000-square-foot facility on a 20-acre parcel near the town’s entrance was planned for early fall and the first classes to start at the school were expected the following year – which may still be the case. Or, with the change, the first classes in the new building may be during the spring 2009 semester.It depends on weather and construction, Bornstein said, adding that they are continuing to follow an aggressive timeline.A feasibility study was recently finished for the plans and school officials will be looking at feedback from the community to determine the next steps, she said. Currently, the design team is working on the plans that they hope to present to the town and have approved by the fall, Bornstein said. Shortly after, they will go to bid for the project and may begin purchasing supplies.The construction budget is between $9 and $11 million and the school is looking to start a capital campaign so they can afford desired amenities. Some of what is being looked at that may be contingent on fundraising includes a large multi-purpose room, commercial culinary kitchen, science labs, nursing classroom equipment, a research study area and lecture hall/auditorium space that would hold about 200 people. “We’re trying to fit as many wonderful things in the building as possible,” Bornstein said. However, because of the budget, some hard decisions may have to be made, she said.CMC and the town finalized a Memorandum of Understanding in March that allowed the college to purchase the land for the new facility on Block 11 from the town for $1. Also, the MOU states that the school will incorporate green design as much as possible and school officials will voluntarily meet with the town to share ideas throughout the development process.Those with the school have presented information every other week to the town council, said Town Manager Tim Gagen. As a result, the final review process when CMC submits its plans “should be fairly smooth,” he continued.”So far the council has been fairly pleased. … The comments have been positive,” he added. “And they are hopeful that they stay focused on building green.”With building green, CMC is looking at solar energy, sustainable materials and a design without cooling in the building, among other components, Bornstein said. “With everything we do, we always talk about materials and is there another way to do something sustainability-wise,” she added.So now, while CMC is working on finalizing plans through the summer, the Town of Breckenridge will be removing gravel from the site to get it ready for construction. The work is expected to be done by August, Gagen said.Also, at some point the town will be relocating a high-powered gas line that runs along the river. However, that will not likely impact construction, he added.Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at email@example.com.
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