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One small step for Craig

A giant leap for The Memorial Hospital, CNCC as ground broken for infrastructure

Collin Smith

— A typical construction site heralds the grand-scale plans to develop the 100-acre “site on the hill,” where The Memorial Hospital and Colorado North-west Community College plan to build in the future.

TMH and CNCC led a ceremony celebrating the infrastructure groundbreaking Wed-nesday afternoon in front of the bulldozers and track hoes beginning the process.

The current construction is limited to roads, including widening parts of County Road 7, and water and wastewater piping, all to prepare for planned building construction slated to happen next year.

“I see a lot of people coming here in the future for the two most important things in life, their health and education,” CNCC President John Boyd said.

TMH hopes to receive construction funds through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loans and a bond issue going before voters Nov. 6.

The hospital has not finalized a master plan for construction, and does not know how much money it might cost. Until TMH finalizes its construction budget, it cannot apply for HUD loans or predict how much money will be on the bond issue voted by taxpayers.

TMH CEO George Rohrich said he was happy the project is moving forward.

“It’s been so long coming, it’s worth celebrating,” he said.

CNCC submitted a master construction plan to the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education, or SBCCOE, in July.

It called for about $23 million, to be had from the budget provided to SBCCOE by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

The plan submitted by CNCC includes a 24 unit residence hall and a 75,000 square feet multi-purpose building.

“As we build academic space, we will get more need for residences,” Boyd said. “Ultimately, this could be a college that houses 250 to 300 students.”

Gene Bilodeau, dean of CNCC Craig campus, said there also are plans for a technical building, costing about $3 million, to be paid for by private funds. That building theoretically would house space for industrial-electrician, power plant technician and possibly welding programs.

The Twin Peaks conglomerate began construction July 16. It cost an estimated $2.7 million that has been funneled through TMH, but includes $750,000 from CNCC and a $1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

That total does not include preliminary engineering, consulting, appraisal or dry utilities – such as electrical – done by Diversified Consulting Services, which also consulted with Moffat County School District for their construction and renovation projects.

Dan Giroux and John Sattler, Diversified Consulting co-owners, are happy to be involved with both projects.

“Here, we’re taking it from old pasture land to what will be a subdivision that holds a new hospital and a new college,” Sattler said.

Construction costs are more expensive in Craig than on the Front Range, Boyd said.

“It’s hard to find a workforce here, because they are all bidding on a bunch of projects and there’s more than enough work to go around,” Boyd said.

Bilodeau said Monday there also were previous plans to build a community recreation center in the southwest corner of the 100-acre site. If a recreation center were to be built, there is still space available.

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com


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