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CMC -a tale of two sites

Colorado Mountain College is down to one city, but two choices in its search for a new western Garfield County campus. The CMC board of trustees decided Monday to build a new campus at one of two locations in Rifle, ruling out Silt. The two new contenders are the Snyder site, behind the Grand River Medical Center off Airport Road and offered by Silt’s Jean and Jim Snyder, and the Howard site, 13 acres on Airport Road east of Rifle, donated by Bob Howard.”I think the Snyder site is the best location but not necessarily the best site,” said trustee Robert Dick. The Snyder location is better because of its proximity to commuter student amenities, such as food and gas, Dick said, but the site may present other problems. The site lies in an alluvial fan, which can present soil challenges, and it’s within a 100-year flood plain. The Howard site is free from those challenges, but is outside Rifle’s core area and is zoned for light industrial use, which would mean fewer student amenities. CMC is replacing its Railroad Avenue location in Rifle because of increases in student population and the age of the building. In the end, the board decided to study challenges at each of the sites, notably engineering and environmental, and city plans to develop the areas around each site. Regardless of which site the board chooses, Rifle officials are happy that CMC will stay in their community. “I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said Alan Lambert, a Rifle city councilman who attended the meeting. “I don’t think CMC or Rifle can lose with either site,” said Matt Sturgeon, Rifle’s planning director.


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