CMC Breckenridge: Six years of work culminate with opening |

CMC Breckenridge: Six years of work culminate with opening

Robert Allen
Summit correspondent
Summit Daily/Mark FoxThe new Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge site held its grand opening Saturday afternoon with tours of the new facility, food, a ribbon cutting and a concert in the new auditorium.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – Local leaders, philanthropists and loyal residents flooded the lobby of Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge site on Saturday for the official opening celebration and time capsule ceremony.

“It’s such an exciting day for everyone in Summit County,” state Sen. Dan Gibbs said as he finished a tour of the building – an estimated $14 million project that started construction in June 2008 on land the Town of Breckenridge donated.

Gibbs, a former student of CMC Leadville, said the campus will help attract people to the community from folks working lift lines to executives.

CMC Summit Campus dean and CEO Alton Scales said the building’s completion “marks fruition of one more phase in the plan.”

Leah Bornstein, Scales’s predecessor, began work on the project six years ago. After a site on the Frisco Peninsula failed to ripen, the site south of Coyne Valley Road in Breckenridge became an ideal fit.

“This is exactly what I had imagined,” Bornstein said. “I cried when I walked in there (motioning to the kitchen) … It’s a jewel in CMC’s crown. Not just the kitchen but the program itself.”

The campus’s culinary program started about 15 years ago, and the Breckenridge kitchen is one of the new site’s more impressive features.

No doubt drawn by the aroma, folks on Saturday watched behind red velvet ropes as a chef prepared sizzling hors d’oeuvres. The contents of the pans were visible through a flat-screen monitor near the ceiling.

Students have been using the Breckenridge building since Monday, and little plants are already growing in one of the high-tech science labs.

An eclectic mix of artwork adorns the hallways and lobby, and CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said a series of black and white photos including work by Ansel Adams is on circuit through the CMC chain and will be in Breckenridge sometime soon.

Sam Skramstad, CMC director of collegewide facilities, said the construction project “went very well.”

“We built it as green as we could to get a return on investment for the taxpayers,” he said.

Solar panels, lighting and design attributes were used to help maximize the building’s energy efficiency.

Breckenridge Town Hall may move to the former CMC Breckenridge site on South Harris Street, which historically has served as the town hall and filled other community roles.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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