Final vote, second review on two leases in Buena Vista

At the June meeting of the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees at CMC Aspen, trustees voted unanimously to approve the college’s fiscal year 2020-21 budget, including $69.3 million in general fund expenditures. The Wednesday, June 24, meeting was held under strict public health protocols and social distancing requirements.

Per state and local health orders, and as a practice run for the upcoming fall semester, all participants and guests in the meeting completed a health screening, wore masks and stood or sat at least 6 feet apart. Hand-sanitizing stations were prominent throughout the building. Building and meeting room occupancy was closely monitored to comply with Pitkin County group-size restrictions.

Excluding one-time stimulus funds received through the state, and compared to fiscal year 2019-20, the balanced general fund budget includes an overall increase in operating expenses of 2.3%, which is near annual inflation (as estimated prior to the May 2020 board meeting).

By unanimous votes, the board also approved two different leases at the CMC campus site in Buena Vista. In November 2019 the college issued a request for proposals for the use of the college’s Buena Vista facility. After discussing proposals with the CMC Board of Trustees, staff commenced negotiations for leases with Mountain Board of Cooperative Education Services and Fading West Development.

Mountain BOCES is a nonprofit, regional educational collaborative representing four P-12 school districts: Leadville, Buena Vista, Fairplay and Salida. The organization plans to use the building for administrative offices and for educational purposes, including offering professional development to teachers and staff. Wendy Wyman, immediate past superintendent of Lake County School District in Leadville, is the incoming executive director of Mountain BOCES.

The board’s approval of a $1/year lease will allow Mountain BOCES to use the building for administrative offices and for educational purposes, including offering professional development to teachers and staff.

The proposed lease includes an initial five-year term with another five-year renewal, unless otherwise terminated by either of the parties by Dec. 31, 2024. The Mountain BOCES Board of Directors met June 4, 2020, and approved this lease.

The other vote, the second of three reviews by the trustees, was regarding leasing vacant parcels of land to Fading West. Fading West is a for-profit entity that owns property adjacent to the campus and is committed to their mission to provide affordable pre-built housing for the local workforce.

Fading West intends to use CMC’s vacant parcels for driveways, deliveries, finished good storage, screened raw materials storage, parking areas and site drainage to be used in connection with the manufacturing factory adjacent to the property.

A potential CMC academic partnership with Fading West would include programming in construction, manufacturing systems, processes and planning. The lease stipulates rent of $900 per month, which is waived if the tenant is providing educational opportunities and training to CMC’s students.

Also at the meeting, trustees unanimously approved:

  • Revising the eCampus contract to incorporate more transparent pricing for textbooks and other materials, based on a percentage of the list price.
  • Amending the Leadville GOL! (Get Outdoors Leadville) contract to incorporate the guaranteed maximum price of $590,266 to build a Gear Library at CMC Leadville.
  • Revising the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce lease on part of the ground floor of the college’s building at 802 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs.
  • Applying the FY 2019-20 supplemental budget appropriation of $2.2 million toward auxiliary funds and sponsored programs.
  • Accepting the FY 2019-20 Progress Report, and the President’s Goals and College Work Plan for FY 2020-21.
  • Endorsing the college’s application for a federal Economic Development Agency grant.