Gene Bilodeau said when he came to Craig in 1994, he had an understanding that a new building was in play for Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus.
Now, almost 17 years later, the college is only a few months away from opening two new buildings that Bilodeau said will be a big improvement for Craig’s community college.
“If you’ve gone up to where we’re currently holding classes and see what we’re going to, it’s a pretty good feeling to see the change that’s happening,” said Bilodeau, CNCC vice president of administration.
Bilodeau said Friday that two new buildings, located north of The Memorial Hospital on Moffat County Road 7, are on schedule for completion. He said both the academic/student services building and the career technical center building will be ready for classes in August.
“They’re right on schedule,” Bilodeau said. “They had to work through a few obstacles this winter, but there was nothing they couldn’t compensate for.”
On Thursday, Bilodeau led a group of about 12 people, including fellow Craig City Council members Ray Beck and Don Jones, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta, and members of CNCC staff, on a tour of the facilities.
Although the facilities are still in progress, the tour gave visitors a first glimpse at what the future will look like at CNCC.
Those on the tour were taken through both buildings and given a chance to see classrooms, offices and other aspects, including a library and bookstore.
Beck and Vanatta said they were impressed by the buildings.
“I think this is going to be something that we, as a community, can be proud of,” Beck said. “Hopefully going down the road … we’ll get this thing filled up and it will be a great addition to our economy.”
“It looks impressive to me,” Vanatta said. “It’ll be a great addition to the community.”
Along the way, visitors had a chance to see some of Bilodeau’s favorite aspects of the buildings, including a geothermal field that will be used to help heat and cool the buildings.
Also, visitors were able enjoy a view of Craig from some areas.
“The views from both of the buildings are spectacular,” Bilodeau said. “Every time I go over there, I get more and more excited about it.”
CNCC President Russell George said he’s toured the construction multiple times.
“It’s just spectacular,” George said. “I think the community is going to be so pleased and so impressed.”
He said when he meets with residents, they often comment on how the building looks from a distance.
“I tell them, ‘Wait until you get to see the inside,’” he said. “It is spectacular, and I do feel that way every time I’m in there.”
Bilodeau said he’s received positive responses from those he’s taken to the campus.
“The community deserves a new college campus, and it’s fun to see what’s coming together for them,” he said.
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