Campus project under way

CNCC in planning stages for student housing, career technical center

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Colorado Northwestern Community College is moving into the planning stages of a campus building project.

The project would include the construction of a career technical center and a residence hall, which CNCC officials think is critical to increasing enrollment.

"Our goal still is to find a way to have a residence hall by next fall," said Gene Bilodeau, CNCC Craig campus dean, at a college board meeting Monday night.

The college has hired Diversified Consulting Solutions, a Westminster firm, on an hourly basis to create the initial plans for the proposed campus. If CNCC officials approve the DCS plan, they will hire the firm to complete the project.

Donations and other sources of private revenue would fund construction of both buildings.

The proposed residence hall would consist of four pods capable of housing eight students each. The college may build additional residence halls later, Bilodeau said.

The career technical center still is being designed.

Plans for the new college campus also include a classroom center, which would be built using funds from the state. Construction of this building would require state approval.

CNCC President John Boyd will appear before the state in January to lobby on behalf of the classroom center.

Currently, the project ranks second in the community college system's list of building priorities, 19th on that of the Colorado higher education system and 44th on the state's overall list of projects.

Boyd's appearance before the state could change those standings, the president said.

If the state doesn't approve construction of the classroom center, the college will continue with plans to build the residence hall and the technical center.

"We could increase student enrollment if we had housing," board secretary Karol Bullen said, adding that a lack of campus housing has caused some students to turn away from the college.

Enrollment at the college is on the rise. At the meeting, Boyd reported enrollment throughout the college had increased by 12.4 percent. At the Craig campus, enrollment rose 18 percent from last year.

To cover current and projected campus construction costs, the board moved to transfer $1,828,088 from its Colorado Trust fund into its budget.

The sum was earmarked for the campus construction project, Bullen said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

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