Community college board considers Craig campus expansion
Craig — Just as colleges such as University of Colorado began as a single building and have grown to large proportions, Colorado Northwestern Community College-Craig (CNCC) may be on the same track.
“We need a full-blown, comprehensive college,” said Dr. Dean Hollenbeck, Craig campus vice president.
CNCC President Dr. Robert Anderson has the same viewpoints on the new campus but realizes it may not be an immediate concern. “Right now, expenditures on bricks and mortar are not a high priority for the state,” Anderson said. Eventually, Anderson would like to see the college evolve into a multi-platform campus.
Hollenbeck and Vice President of Administrative Services James Allard have been looking for possible new sites for the college. The new site will be 100 acres at the very least, enough room for initial construction and future expansion. Link Derick, board of control member, feels the college doesn’t need to find a dormitory-type complex immediately because Craig has numerous apartments that could be filled. Once interest is shown in this sort of housing there would be more support of a full-fledged campus.
According to Hollenbeck, the college hopes within three years to have something done in terms of a new complex. Whether it be a blueprint or the beginning of construction, the major issue is student housing.
“We have to have the ability to house our students,” Hollenbeck said. He went on to say that housing would provide total access for every student and that being able to advertise housing would really help the college.
The board commented that they need to get an early feel of where the state will stand on the possible expansion. If the state was against campus expansion they would need to explore other options.
“We need to find out what the feeling is with the state,” Hollenbeck said. “(Expansion) may not be feasible.”
According to Anderson, there needs to be more in-depth conversations over the details of a new campus and this campus needs to be highly visible and accessible.
The college is in the process of proving the demand and budgeting carefully to prepare for the possible campus expansion.
Some students are choosing to chart their own course after graduation, bucking the conventional path of college or trade school, but with no less ambition than their degree-seeking peers. Moffat County High School senior Tyler Gonzales is one such student, who has chosen to dive into a full-time job at Chaos Ink after graduating and feed his passion for design and entrepreneurialism.