Community college growing and on track for expansion

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To the Editor:

Thank you for the cover story about last week's site planning meeting that addressed space needs of Colorado Northwestern Community College. Craig Daily Press' Josh Nichols did an excellent job reporting our plans and progress as we move forward to build a new campus.

Over 1,400 students attended classes at the CNCC-Craig Campus in 2002, equivalent to 330 full-time students taking a course load of 12 credits. With the popularity of the CNCC Cosmetology Center, increasing number of high school graduates who are staying close to home to finish their first two years of transferable core courses, non-traditional students and the interest in the nursing program scheduled to begin Fall 2003, our numbers continue to rise.

Information gathering sessions facilitated by the specialized site team (currently working with over 200 colleges throughout the nation) and the compilation of program data has shown the Craig Campus is currently 17,000 square feet short of the space needed to adequately service our students. At this time a number of classes are held at the Bell Tower Building, which has approximately 16,000 square feet available for students. The remaining classroom space we need is leased throughout the community, creating challenges for some students to travel between classes. As we continue to grow and develop new programs this number becomes more significant and larger.

The presence of the mayor, city manager, city planner, parks and recreation director and executive director of Yampa Valley Partners at this meeting was an affirmation of the impact Colorado Northwestern Community College has and will increasingly have on the future of our students and economic viability of our region. The new Community Indicators report produced by Yampa Valley Partners that reveals a wealth of positive qualities and community resources will be referenced as the college continues our growth preparation.

As we move forward with site development and closer to our goal to break ground for our new facilities we are receptive and desirable of community input we need to best serve our students. Community members are invited to contribute their insights in this very exciting time in the Old West today.

Sincerely,

Dr. Dean Hollenbeck

Vice President, Colorado Northwestern Community College

dean.hollenbeck@cncc.edu

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