Construction stops as CNCC waits for contract |

Construction stops as CNCC waits for contract

Bridget Manley

Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus is nearly finished with one phase of its new campus.

The college is now preparing to start the second.

However, the college’s portion of the 100-acre parcel west of Craig may look inactive right now while CNCC officials are seeking bids for and sealing a contract.

An extension of Ninth Street to the edge of the parcel is nearly completed, and a drainage system intended to divert water off the property has been installed.

“The Ninth Street project : is virtually finished,” said Gene Bilodeau, CNCC Craig campus dean. “The drainage is not even a factor anymore. It’s in the ground, the blacktop’s on, (and) the curb and gutter are finished.”

A subsurface drainage system was placed at the Ninth Street extension site after a geotechnical engineer hired by the college found water on the site early this summer that could have damaged the road.

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Combined, the drainage system and replacing wet soils with dry material cost $29,000, or about $10,000 less than first estimated.

The CNCC Craig campus board approved a change order in July to pay for the work.

Between now and December, CNCC officials plan to grade the site for multiple installments, including streets, buildings and utilities. The work will cost about $1.2 million.

However, those plans can’t continue until a bid is awarded.

Craig campus officials have put out a request for qualifications for companies interested in the project. Firms will have until Sept. 9 to reply to the request. CNCC personnel will evaluate the requests on Sept. 11.

“There’s really nothing going on (at) the site until we award this next bid,” Bilodeau said.

Meanwhile, CNCC is working on a proposal with a company that will help design, build and lease a new residence hall to CNCC, said John Boyd, CNCC president.

After the lease period is completed, ownership of the building will transfer to CNCC.

In doing so, they are returning to a prior form in which a single company would design and build the facility. College officials had initially bid the residence hall as a design-build package, but later re-bid the project, deciding that a more traditional approach would be appropriate.

The residence hall will house 32 students in multiple pods and, per college guidelines, will cost no more than $850,000.

In May, CNCC awarded a bid to Agency CTA, a Denver-based firm, to design the building. The deal later fell through, Boyd said, and the college returned to a single design and construction package with another company.

Bilodeau said the name of the company will not be released until negotiations with the firm are completed.

If all goes according to plan, students at CNCC’s Craig location will have an on-campus residence option by this time next year.

“The intent is to have the residence (hall) up and running in the fall of 2009.” Bilodeau said.

Overall development of the future campus location is on schedule.

“We’re about where we need to be,” Bilodeau said, adding that campus officials hadn’t expected to complete more than “dirt work” on the site this fall.

Building the residence hall will be one of the first installments of transferring the Craig campus master plan from the drawing board to reality. The 30- to 50-year process could cost up to an estimated $150 million.

In May, CNCC received $23.5 million in state funds to build a 78,000 square-foot academic building, which is projected to open in fall 2011. Eventually, the campus is slated to contain a gym, library, auditorium and, possibly, an arts building.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or

At a glance

• Ninth Street extension on site of new Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig campus nearly finished.

• Subsurface drainage system has been installed, blacktop has been laid on road and curbs are finished.

• CNCC officials put out request for qualifications for grading the site for future installments

• Final details on contract with company to design residence hall under way.