CNCC student housing being conceptualized by architect | CraigDailyPress.com

CNCC student housing being conceptualized by architect

Student housing is provided for CNCC students through an arrangement with Ridgeview Apartments.

— The first conceptual drawings for campus student housing, have been reviewed by the Colorado Northwestern Community College housing committee, a group composed of faculty, staff, board and community members that was started about three years ago.

Design West Architects was retained for $9,200, at the August Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board meeting, to develop a set of conceptual drawings for academic housing that would accommodate about 100 beds, which is the break even point to allow food services and a multi-use dining hall, according to Lois Wymore, board treasurer and chair of the housing committee.

"We have to have a concept, something to sell (to the community)," she said.

Money for the study comes from a portion of the ColoTrust account that the board started to save for capital expansion. There is about $50,000 in the account, Wymore said.

Since the fall of 2013, CNCC Craig has assisted students with housing by leasing area apartments are then subleased to students. This program has gone from eight students to 29 in the past three years and even more have applied, Wymore said.

Ridgeview West Apartments rented 14 units to CNCC this year. CNCC furnishes and pays deposits then subleases to students at a cost similar to what students pay for on campus housing in Rangely, she said.

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"This is another service that we can provide to students and has made the difference between some students attending CNCC," Wymore said.

The units currently house 27 students, said Lisa Molison, property manager for the Ridgeview West Apartments and general manager for Timber Run Apartments.

"It's going great they are a great group of students and are like any normal tenants," Molison said. "I'm so excited that they are here."

While the subleasing model is working, there is still demand for on-campus student housing.

"We could sell 75 rooms already," Wymore said.

The idea for campus housing was first sparked in 2008, Wymore said.

"The master plan has five different dorm buildings, so I think the intent with the new campus has always been to have student housing," Wymore said.

Better City, the Ogden, Utah-based firm that helped Moffat County create an economic development implementation plan, approached CNCC with the idea of building student housing downtown rather than on campus. The idea was considered a better opportunity for seniors and young professionals than for students aged 18 to 20, said Janell Oberlander-Haefs, vice president of the Craig campus in her

July 18 report to the board.

Campus housing has other advantages, including students are able to use financial aid to pay for on-campus housing, it would closely connect students with campus life, reduce transportation needs and depending on the final design for the building, a multi-purpose dining hall would allow for large events such as graduation to be held on campus, according to information provided by the CNCC housing committee.

The next steps for the project starts with the presentation of an architectural design to the housing committee that will then be reviewed by administration, faculty, students and the community through focus groups before finalization. Once design is final then feasibility studies will help to determine the best methods for funding or financing the new construction.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow, it's going to take us a little while to get going," said Ronald Granger, CNCC President at Monday night's college board meeting. "The conceptual plan does help gives us an idea of cost. The state won't help with these costs, as it's an auxiliary service. Do we borrow some of the money? Do we raise some of the money? We need to get going on how are we going to do it. We need to get together and create a plan. We need to have this in place before can start."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.