City approves new CNCC lease agreement

Colorado Northwestern Community College is keeping its off campus home at the city owned Center of Craig community building, though the school's rent will come at a higher price.

After tabling a lease agreement proposal earlier this month, allowing the city and college time to negotiate a new deal, the Craig City Council approved Tuesday night a three-year extension. The new deal is retroactive to July 2006 and expires in June 2009.

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The city raised the college's rental fee of the building from $3.13 per square foot to $5 per square foot; the school has about 2,726 square feet of office and classroom space at the Center of Craig.

CNCC will pay the city $48,890 during the three-year span.

The college has leased space at the community building for seven years, and the school's rent had been the same for the past several years. CNCC requested a three-year extension of the same agreement, city officials said, but were willing to renegotiate at a higher price.

Provisions are built into the lease agreement allowing either side to terminate the contract, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

The college hopes to have a new Craig campus location built on a 100-acre site in west Craig within the next few years and would thus move Center of Craig classes to the new facility.

Absent from the new agreement is any built-in security deposit, a requirement for people or organizations renting the Center of Craig for events or private parties.

"We've not had any problems with the college," Ferree said.

"I think they've shown they are good renters," City Council member Byron Willems said.

Ferree said the college renting the city-owned space provides more of a community benefit than a financial one.

"It's not a money-making proposition," he said. "It never has been."

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