Colorado Mountain College breaks ground on $35M expansion at Spring Valley | AspenTimes.com

Colorado Mountain College breaks ground on $35M expansion at Spring Valley

Staff Report
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Colorado Mountain College has broken ground on two new buildings at the Spring Valley campus south of Glenwood Springs, representing a $35 million investment.

Construction is now underway for a 33,000-square-foot fitness and recreation center adjacent to Gates Soccer Park, and a 16,000-square-foot Ascent Center that will serve as the campus's new welcome center. An extensive remodel for the existing student center is also planned.

The project includes $5 million to be raised philanthropically and through shared-use partnerships, CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said.

"It has been a long time since we've been able to invest in and upgrade the 'West Campus,' as the Spring Valley campus was originally called when CMC first offered classes in 1967," Hauser said at a Wednesday groundbreaking ceremony.

"We have come so far in our first 50 years – and these new buildings will launch us into our next 50 years," she said.

The most recent addition to the Glenwood Springs-area residential campus was the creation of the James C. and Connie L. Calaway Academic Building in 1998. The Calaways were in attendance at Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony.

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"Responding to the needs of the 21st century student, Colorado Mountain College is undergoing a transformation of the campus infrastructure while staying true to our vision: to be the most inclusive and innovative student-centered college in the nation, elevating the economic, social, cultural and environmental vitality of our beautiful Roaring Fork Valley," said Kristin Heath Colon, CEO of the CMC Foundation.

Members of the Nieslanik and Quigley families who donated the campus site in the late 1960s were also on hand for the ceremony.

"To be able to do so on 800 acres of donated land, on what is now one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation, and to have some of those original land donors here with us today five decades later, still caring about this campus and college, is even more inspiring," Colon said.

The new fitness and recreation center will provide wellness and recreation opportunities for both students and community members. It will include a large gymnasium, cardio balcony, indoor track, weights, multipurpose fitness room, bouldering and ropes climbing walls, outdoor equipment rental, physical activity classrooms, and catering and concessions.

The Ascent Center will absorb some of the functions now in the Summit Student Center, such as admissions, student services, study rooms, campus store and Eagle's Nest Café, as well as classrooms and a student living room and lounge. The expanded facilities will also support year-round conference facilities.

The first two buildings constitute the first phase of construction, with completion scheduled for early in the fall of 2019. The second phase of construction will consist of a major remodel of the existing student center, including improved food service and dining areas, student club spaces, and classroom and lab for the law enforcement training academy.