Trustees approve lease in Buena Vista, move forward with other lease of vacant land

Following a months-long process, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees formally approved a lease of the college’s Chaffee County Academic Center in Buena Vista, to Mountain Board of Cooperative Education Services.

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.

“This is a great central location for serving our member school districts in Chaffee, Lake and Park counties,” said Wyman. “The building offers us opportunities to expand and grow our professional development offerings in an environment that is conducive to adult learning. We are looking forward to moving into our new location.”

College continues reaching out to BV students

Because of precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, like most colleges in the nation the 11-campus college has been offering classes mostly online since mid-March. CMC is planning a fall semester that continues to be heavily reliant on distance learning.

Pokrandt noted that this shows CMC is adept at reaching students anywhere, even when a classroom building is not available. “Even when we all retreated to our homes during the pandemic, we have continued to offer the same number and variety of classes to Buena Vista High School concurrent enrollment and community students,” she said. “We serve students, wherever they are.”

The $1/year lease has been under negotiation for some months. In November 2019 the college issued a request for proposals for the use of the facility. After discussing proposals with the CMC Board of Trustees, staff commenced negotiations for the lease with Mountain BOCES. The Mountain BOCES Board of Directors met June 4, 2020, and approved the lease.

The Mountain BOCES board includes Pokrandt (who recused herself from all board discussions related to the lease), as well as representatives from Buena Vista, Lake County, Park County and Salida school districts.

Trustees move forward with land lease

In the second of three reviews by the CMC trustees, at the board’s June 24 meeting trustees also voted in favor of leasing vacant parcels of land at the Buena Vista site to Fading West Development. A third review and final vote will be scheduled for an upcoming board meeting.

Fading West is a for-profit entity that owns property adjacent to the campus where they construct 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.