Completion of Colorado Mountain College apartments in final stretch

Construction workers move in a swarm of activity on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at the new three-story student apartment building on the Colorado Mountain College campus in Steamboat Springs.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Construction workers moved in a swarm of activity Wednesday at the new three-story student apartment building on the Colorado Mountain College campus in Steamboat Springs trying to get it ready for occupancy before classes start Monday.

J.C. Norling, vice president and campus dean, said the goal of the housing project — one of four new apartment complexes across the college system — is to house more students on campus and thus free up more units in the mountain towns.

Yet the same harsh winter that slowed other construction projects hampered progress on the student apartments that had a hopeful move-in date of Saturday. The projected move-in date is now Wednesday.

“We were fortunate to be able to move them in the week of school starting,” Norling said.

Norling said the college is working and communicating closely with each incoming tenant and providing rooms gratis in a hotel as needed. Other students are staying with friends or remaining in the Hill Hall dorm until the apartments are completed.

Michelle Barnett, director of student life and housing, said the campus received approximately 75 applications for the 35-unit apartment complex that includes 24 studio and 11 two-bedroom unfurnished units. The apartment prices are targeted at 10-15% below market rate and include all utilities at a monthly rent of $1,076 for a 378-square-foot studio and $1,549 for a 750-square-foot two-bedroom unit. Many of the students are moving on to the apartments after previous years housed in Hill Hall, freeing up space for more students in the dorm.

“Students and the community are really excited that the college stepped up and made the investment during a housing crisis,” Norling noted.

Campus Dean J.C. Norling shows one of the new student apartments at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs that is anticipated to be ready for occupancy a few days after classes start this semester.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

As of Wednesday, when new students and families were touring campus, Hill Hall assignments were full at 192 students. In the apartments, four studios and one two-bedroom unit were yet to be assigned from a waitlist of some 15-20 people, Barnett said. Three CMC staff members also were on track to live in the new apartments.

Norling said the apartments with one-year leases drew interest because they are built to be a safe, close, clean and financially attainable place for older students to live. The apartments will be managed by the third-party company Corum Real Estate Group.

The college created “preferred qualifying criteria” for the apartment applicants in order to focus on serving upper-level students working to complete their bachelor’s degrees and to prioritize housing needs for students in critical areas such as nursing, early childhood education and human services. Preferred students for the apartments have earned at least 24 college-level credit hours or two years of military service with military learning credits.

With registration numbers still being finalized, Norling anticipates fall enrollment at 1,250 credit-seeking students for the Steamboat campus, not including noncredit community education students. Past surveys show that some 90% of CMC students also work at least part-time locally.

The apartment complex was built on the site of a former parking lot. To reduce congestion, community events on campus were shifted to evenings, weekends and Fridays when less classes are scheduled, Norling said.

The 24,000-square-foot apartment complex budgeted for $12.1 million broke ground in July 2022 with work by Shaw Construction. The apartment units were built without outdoor decks in part to reduce noise for nearby residential housing, Norling said. Campus leaders are still working on plans to add some speed control devices to upper Bob Adams Drive that runs past the apartment building as well as some 60-70 parking spaces in three different pockets on campus.

The new on-campus apartment building at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs is in its final stretch, as shown by Campus Dean J.C. Norling on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.