New CMC Breckenridge site on schedule for mid-year opening |

New CMC Breckenridge site on schedule for mid-year opening

Robert Allen
Breckenridge, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit Daily NewsAlton Scales, dean at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge, Colorado, leads a tour of the new campus on Airport Road Tuesday.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” The new Colorado Mountain College facility under construction in Breckenridge, Colorado is on schedule for completion in time for fall classes.

The $14 million project is “just beyond the halfway point,” said Alton Scales, Summit campus dean.

The building, on Highway 9 near Coyne Valley Road, will include a variety of eco-friendly attributes.

Roof-mounted solar panels are being installed to power the building when classes aren’t in session. During peak hours, the solar energy is expected to provide about a quarter of the power used, Scales said.

The boomerang-shaped structure’s orientation is intended to shun wind and maximize sunlight, he said.

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Several large windows will bring natural light to the 13 classrooms. The hallways have been mapped to intersperse faculty offices with the classrooms to make instructors “more accessible” to students, he said.

“The student’s don’t have to feel like they’re intruding,” Scales said.

One room will have three SMART Boards ” interactive, computerized whiteboards ” a technology envied by teachers worldwide.

The present site on Harris Street in downtown Breckenridge is a historic building that once served as Summit High School. Town officials are considering moving town hall to the location.

“That building has a lot of character,” Scales said. “It just doesn’t lend itself to 21st century learning.”

He said the new site also will allow easier access for students commuting to the Summit campus’s Dillon site, since anyone pursuing a degree must take classes at both.

The new site also will offer expanded options for students who aren’t pursuing degrees. For example, the commercial-sized kitchen will offer culinary classes for members of the community participating in drop-in courses.

The kitchen will include mirrors for observation as well as cameras that film the classes ” with an option to have DVDs available afterward.

Wireless Internet is to be available inside and outside the building. And benches for an outdoor classroom are to be available near the Blue River.

Landscaping will include only indigenous grass and plants, with cottonwood trees lining the river.

“Our goal is for it to be a seamless transition” to the town, Scales said.

The structure includes areas ready to be converted to office space as the campus expands.

The auditorium and lecture hall is to seat about 250, and will be built for acoustic quality. About 45 of the seats include retractable desks for lectures.

The new Breckenridge site of the CMC Summit Campus is valued at about $20 million, including the land, which the town donated.

Fundraising is under way to finance $2 million of the campus price tag through naming rights and other donations.

About $1 million in gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations had been raised by Tuesday. Copper Mountain Resort is contributing more than $100,000; the Anschutz and Boettcher foundations are giving between $75,000 and $100,000.

Summit County residents are encouraged to contribute. For more information, go to and click on “Summit Campus” or call CMC Breckenridge at (970) 453-6757.

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

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