Steamboat CMC campus officials seek building plan feedback
College hosts walking tour of proposed road, planned facility
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version to correct that the new CMC facility will house classrooms for hospitality management.
Steamboat Springs residents Sarah Katherman and Robert Ellsworth have concerns about the proposed secondary access road leading to the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus.
The couple, who has lived off 12th Street at a home that backs up to the college, is concerned about the dust that will be created by the construction of the road, noise and light from headlights and street lamps.
On Wednesday, they joined about 30 people for a walking tour of the proposed road location and 48,000-square-foot geoexchange facility planned for the Alpine Campus off Bob Adams Drive. The group included other area residents, CMC staff and architects and engineers working on the projects.
Sam Skramstad, CMC’s director of facilities, said the tour was part of the plan review process. He said it allowed residents to see the visual impacts of the road and facility.
“It would be suicidal to go to City Council and for them to say, ‘Have you gone through the neighborhood?’” Skramstad said. “This is part of that process.”
Last week, the college reached an agreement to buy the 1.49-acre parcel at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue owned by the Dike family, of Steamboat. The college will pay more than $2.4 million for the property. As part of the agreement, the Dikes will gift $600,000 to the college.
The site was identified as the preferred place for the access road, a requirement of the city of Steamboat Springs for fire and emergency services as part of the project to build the facility.
The road will be located east of the commercial building on the property and will wind behind it. Because of that, the four businesses — Steamboat Tattoo, Twice as Nice Shoppe thrift store, The Water Store and Steamboat Stoveworks — won’t be immediately disturbed. But a storage building and a modular home also on the property will be taken down for the construction of the road, Skramstad said.
The road will be aligned with the intersection at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue and will run adjacent to Iron Springs Park, behind the commercial building and up the hill, where it will curve near Katherman and Ellsworth’s home and cross the existing soccer field and parking lot before curving again toward the proposed new facility.
Randy W. Sackett, of Civil Design Consultants, the civil engineer working on the road, said it would have a maximum grade of 8 percent and 5 percent in the switchbacks to meet city requirements. He said a trail at Iron Springs would connect with a sidewalk along the road that would lead up the hill toward the college.
Skramstad said the road was being built to city standards with the intent that the city would take it over in the future. Sackett said the road design isn’t final and could change as the college awaits approval from the city.
After the walk-through of the road, John C. Fuentes, of Denver-based H+L Architecture, spoke about the three-story facility that will face south. During construction, he said, Monson Hall would be demolished. Fuentes said Bogue Hall would be demolished after construction and Willett Hall would remain.
As part of the project, Bristol Hall is slated to be retrofitted with the geoexchange heating and cooling technology.
College officials have said the new facility will have: conference rooms, a student lounge with a cafe, a bookstore, a dining hall and a 7,000-square-foot kitchen for a new culinary arts program on the third floor; faculty offices, an art studio, and classrooms for outdoor studies, ski business and hospitality management on the second floor; and a one-stop shop for student services, including registration and the bursar’s office, in addition to two exercise rooms and a weight room on the first floor. It also will include a 250- to 290-seat auditorium.
After the walking tour, Katherman said she thought college officials, to the best of their knowledge, answered her and Ellsworth’s questions. But she acknowledged that the project could change and more questions could arise.
“I’m still concerned,” she said. “I don’t know how else to put it until we know what it’s going to be. … The college does seem amenable to mitigation in the form of berms and vegetation. That’s good for us. I think mitigation will be important.”
The college has tentatively planned to start grading the access road Oct. 1, pending approvals from the city. Construction of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver-certified facility is planned for June 2011, with occupation expected for fall 2012. The estimated cost to build the facility and the road is about $20 million.
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