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CMC board picks a site for campus

Heidi Rice
Western Garfield County Staff

RIFLE ” After months of discussion, the Colorado Mountain College board of trustees finally chose a location in south Rifle for its new West Garfield County Campus.

The 13-acre site property owner Bob Howard donated, on the east end of Airport Road, was one of the two final sites in Rifle the board was considering. The other was property behind the Grand River Medical Center across from Wal-Mart. Jim and Jean Snyder, of Silt, own the other property.

“The vote was 6-1 for the Howard property,” said Debbie Crawford, director of public relations for CMC. “But both parcels were really excellent, and we appreciate how generous (the offers) were.”

The board reviewed architectural and engineering studies on both the properties before making a decision. Because the Snyder property is in a 100-year floodplain, it would have required approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which could have taken up to one year to obtain. The site also presented other costs that the Howard property did not.

Judi Hayward, the Western Garfield County trustee on the board, said before the meeting that she could go either direction on her decision.

“I think both sites have some real pros,” Hayward said. “Some people say the Howard site is too far out, and some people are still ticked that we didn’t go with the Silt site. But you can’t please everyone. This decision is making me realize that.”

The school sought a new Rifle campus to replace the existing commuter campus on Railroad Avenue due to the age of the building and the increasing enrollment.

The board expects to send out request for proposals for construction of the new building by next week.

According to CMC president Dr. Bob Spuhler, construction of the new campus could begin in 2006 and the campus could open in spring of 2007.


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