CMC to debate fate of Eagle building
The thorny issue of what to do with the Colorado Mountain College building in Eagle will be a topic of discussion when the CMC Board of Trustees meets Monday in Steamboat Springs.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on the Alpine Campus, Bristol Hall, Room 204.
The regional community college is opening a new, $5.5 million campus in Edwards in the fall. Administrators are seeking permission from the college’s Board of Trustees to pursue the lease or sale of the building in Eagle’s downtown business district.
Several decades ago, the building served as the administration headquarters for the Eagle County School District. When CMC purchased the building in the mid-1970’s, the terms of the sale specified that the school district has the first right of refusal for the structure. The local school district has expressed an interest in using the building for it’s alternative high school.
CMC administrators, citing economic concerns and an efficiency factor, are pushing for consolidation of the college campus to the new Edwards facility. However, many local CMC students, and town of Eagle officials, have voiced concern about losing the Eagle campus. Town and county officials have urged the CMC board to delay a decision on the building until the needs of the growing population in the west end of the valley are better understood.
According to memoranda provided for the May 3 meeting, the college administration is recommending a couple of different options to the board of trustees.
CMC President Bob Spuhler is recommending that the college retain ownership of the building contingent on successful negotiations of a lease with Eagle County School District.
Other staff members are recommending selling the building to the Eagle County School District, contingent upon successful negotiations of a long-term lease for continued college use.
The memorandum states that the college will not, at this time, be offering the option of selling the building to a developer. The memo states that CMC is being lobbied by some in the community to sell to a developer who is planning to develop the entire block.
College administrators have voiced concern over low use of the Eagle facility during day time hours. According to a study by the college, during the fall semester, 93 percent of the college’s students taking classes at Eagle used the building either before 8 a.m. in the morning, or after 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Administrators have estimated that they can save approximately $77,000 annually in operational funds allowing the school district to use the facility during the day – whether through sale or lease of the building.