How the CMC mini college in Glenwood Springs came to be |

How the CMC mini college in Glenwood Springs came to be

Kay Vasilakis
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Colorado Mountain College was looking for ways to help students attend classes and create lifelong learners. Quality child care was created to help students with children take advantage of educational opportunities, and the CMC mini college was born in 1978. The mini college operates under the 501(c)(3) designation of the CMC Foundation.

Ron Limoges, Steve Mills, Martha (Herzog) Cochran and Debbie Condello were the force behind the formation of the CMC mini college.

Debbie Condello worked on plans for the mini college for one year before the project started. She has her degree in education, special education and speech and hearing therapy. She came from an inner-city program in Buffalo, N.Y. Mini college was the third preschool she started from scratch, designing it from her professional experience in preschools in Kentucky, Ohio and New York.

She knew funds were available from the Comprehensive Employment Training Act, which provided funding for teachers. Once funding was obtained, they scrambled for a place to house the facility.

Mini college organizers approached the Mennonite Church in Glenwood Springs, which provided space in the church’s basement from 1978 until the Blake Center was built.

In the beginning, parents taking CMC classes brought their children to mini college, and care was given not only in the daytime, but during night classes as well. When the Blake Center was built and the mini college opened in 1981, only day care was offered.

“It was really a fun adventure,” said Debbie. “Many people donated lots of things for the mini college. John Otto was the Mennonite minister at that time, and he helped build the playground with a lot of community effort. It was a wonderful experience with all the generous people of Glenwood Springs.”

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