The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees held a regularly scheduled work session and meeting on Oct. 20 at Morgridge Commons in downtown Glenwood Springs and via Zoom. At all times trustees, employees and visitors adhered to strict group size limits, public health protocols, face coverings and physical distancing requirements.
The work session included lessons learned from summer and fall 2020; a discussion of operating, capital, and housing considerations; and an update on the Glenwood Center.
On the latter item, trustees welcomed several members of the community to hear about the engagement process that is currently under way to discern the best use of Glenwood-area CMC facilities in light of national and local changes in higher education. Trustees heard that college and campus leaders have appointed an internal working group to explore and recommend strategies and potential actions for the best use of college facilities across the Roaring Fork Valley. Discussion was held about the process the working group is following for at least six months before any potential proposals would be brought to the trustees for their consideration.
The working group has held focus groups and other meetings with the Roaring Fork Campus Community Advisory Council, the Glenwood Center staff, a group informally referred to as “Friends of the Glenwood Center” and members of the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Future focus groups will be held with current students (including noncredit and ESL), spring 2020 graduates and concurrent enrollment students, and a student survey is in the works. Trustees and guests also heard that the college routinely looks at collaborations with community organizations and regularly shares or leases facilities with other nonprofits or education partners.
In actions taken at the meeting, trustees voted to approve two leases at campus properties — one at CMC Leadville and a second at CMC Spring Valley.
On second reading, trustees unanimously approved a lease on the Leadville campus, with Charter (formerly Bresnan) Communications. This is for a long-term lease of a cell tower, which had previously been leased on a month-to-month basis. The lease is subject to a third and final board approval.
The Spring Valley lease, which was approved on its third and final reading, is for a solar land lease on campus. Ameresco will construct a solar facility on 22 acres of leased property on campus, and will then sell the generated power to Holy Cross Energy.
Trustees also unanimously approved a contract to construct a nursing simulation lab in Steamboat Springs. Following the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center’s move to the Honey Stinger building a few miles north of campus, approximately 2,200 square feet is available on the Steamboat campus for the nursing program. With Steamboat students now entering the second year of the program, they will soon begin required clinical hours. The simulation lab will be able to offer up to 50% of a student’s clinical hours on campus. After going through the college’s formal bidding process, Adolfson & Peterson was selected as the general contractor for this project. Construction is estimated to begin the week of Oct. 26 with an estimated build schedule of 14 weeks (through January 2021).
At the Oct. 20 meeting trustees also unanimously approved:
— A lease with Get Outdoors Leadville! for a Community Gear Library and GOL! Hub (final read). The building is now under construction, with an estimated completion in December.
— A lease of vacant parcels of land on the college’s Buena Vista property, to Fading West (final read). Fading West, which owns property adjacent to the CMC building in Buena Vista, is committed to providing affordable, pre-built housing for the local workforce. The company’s plan is to use the leased property for driveways, deliveries, finished good storage, screened raw materials storage, parking areas and site drainage, in conjunction with its adjacent manufacturing property. A potential CMC academic partnership would include programs in construction manufacturing systems, processes and planning.
— A grant resolution regarding Spring Valley biking and hiking trails, requesting that trustees approve a $250,000 grant request to Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Because CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser serves as a member of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission, she is recusing herself from any discussions or votes regarding this grant.