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New CMC campus moving forward

Veronica Whitney
Special to the Daily/Douglas R. Porterfield ArchitDesigns for a new campus for Colorado Mountain College at Berry Creek, in Edwards, are moving through Eagle County's approval process. Plans are for construction to begin this spring.
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Monday, Eagle County’s Design Review Committee for the Berry Creek project approved a new design for a 30,000-square-foot facility – with conditions.

“We’re going in the right direction,” County Commissioner Arn Menconi said after looking at the latest design. “If we can do an environmental building, it will be a keystone for the future of construction in the county.”

As part of the development of Berry Creek, which includes affordable housing, ball fields and a community center, the college campus has to be approved by the Design Review Committee, which consists of Menconi and fellow Commissioner Tom Stone, Gary Rito and Karen Strakbein of the Eagle County School District, and John McCaulley representing county residents. Although the college can now start the approval process with the Eagle County Planning Commission, it also must bring to the Design Review Committee samples of the materials it plans to use, as well as a plan for the phased landscaping.



“I appreciate the changes they’ve made and and that we weren’t forced to compromise the integrity of the process,” Stone said.

Last week, Stone said he was concerned an earlier design for the new campus was inadequate. The second design, presented by DPA Architectural Group, hired by the college to design the campus, incorporated changes that had been approved by the committee with a $10 million tag price.



Joe Marquez, spokesman for Colorado Mountain College, said the college originally only had $5.5 million budgeted for the building, however, and college trustees finally authorized $7 million.

Stone and some other members in the committee said they didn’t think the building, as presented last week, met the guidelines for the Berry Creek/Miller Ranch project in Edwards.

“Since we heard the committe’s concerns, we’ve added Hardy panels (a kind of siding) and some wood to the stucco walls,” said Mike Sawyer, CMC’s director of facilities.



Marquez said the college couldn’t make more adjustments to the plan without compromising classroom space.

“We’re trying to be fiscally responsible towards the taxpayers,” he said.

Sawyer, however, said the changes presented Monday to the committee can be done within the $7 million budget.

“We will also seek LEED certification to make the building energy-efficient and environmentally friendly,” Sawyer said, referring to a rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The building process, meanwhile, will be phased out because of its cost, he said, adding that plans are now to break ground in June and be open for classes in May 2004.

“This community needs this campus, and I like the proactivity of CMC trying to address our concerns,” said Rito, director of curriculum for the school district.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.


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