CMC dedicates two new buildings at Spring Valley campus |

CMC dedicates two new buildings at Spring Valley campus

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Bob Young and Heather Exby celebrate after the official ribbon cutting at the J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center building dedication at CMC Spring Valley on Wednesday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Colorado Mountain College is looking to the future with two new buildings and a renovated student center at the Spring Valley campus.

Spring Valley Campus Dean Heather Exby said the 800 acres of ranchland donated to CMC more than 50 years ago inspired the architecture of the new structures.

“These ranch lands and farm buildings and this spectacular view inspired our vision for these new buildings,” Exby said. “We dreamed of buildings that would fit this landscape.”

Anderson Mason Dale Architects of Denver designed both buildings, which were built by Haselden Construction.

The 32,600-square-foot Outdoor Leadership Center and Field House features weight rooms, yoga and dance studios; a 39-foot climbing wall; an indoor running track; and a double gymnasium for basketball and indoor soccer, which can be configured to seat nearly 1,000 people for special events.

The college plans to host Spring Valley graduations there in coming years.

Portions of the fitness center are expected to be open for students in October, and community members will be able to purchase memberships to use the facility later this year.

On the east side of campus, the new J. Robert Young Ascent Center will act as the welcome center for the entire campus with offices for admissions and student services, classrooms and a gift shop.

CMC President Carrie Hauser unveiled the name of the new welcome center, which honors Alpine Bank founder Bob Young, whose institution has been around nearly as long as CMC. Young made the first contribution to CMC Spring Valley’s $5 million capital campaign, dubbed “The Promise of Spring Valley — Designed for the Long View.”

Officials from Carbondale and Glenwood Springs attended the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. CMC’s “founding father” David Delaplane and his wife, Anne, also were recognized, along with members of the ranching families that were original donors of the Spring Valley land, including Jim and Sharon Nieslanik and Marianne Quigley Ackerman.

“The promise made by David Delaplane, the Nieslaniks, the Quigleys and so many others and the community over 50 years ago has been realized 10 times over,” Hauser said.

She added, “And now, here today, we are making another promise, the promise of Spring Valley. For our students and for our region, for the next 50 years and beyond, a promise for the long view.”

Young’s contributions to CMC did not start with the capital campaign. He also started the Alpine Bank Latino/Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which has allowed 240 students to attend CMC.

More than a dozen scholarship recipients attended the ceremony to thank Young, including Stephanie Ortega, who earned associates degrees in general studies and nursing from Spring Valley.

“Without the Alpine Bank scholarship, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Ortega said. “Receiving the scholarship gave me the confidence that I have potential for the future of our society.”

“We felt that the college and the bank would create an excellent partnership as we serve a similar geographic region,” Young said. “Notably, my three daughters are CMC graduates. We are so proud of CMC and have never once regretted investing in this excellent institution. Alpine Bank and the Young family are happy to be part of CMC’s success.”

“It is most appropriate and humbling that Bob Young — one of Colorado’s most welcoming entrepreneurs, who has grown his business alongside CMC to serve our ever-changing communities — has honored us with a lead gift to support our capital campaign, launching the next chapter and a bright future for this beautiful campus,” Hauser said. “Perhaps a few others here will be inspired and compelled to participate in this capital campaign, and either match or be part of something that Bob has started.”