SALIDA – The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees gathered on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the SteamPlant Event Center in downtown Salida, adhering to strict group size limits, public health protocols, face coverings and physical distancing requirements. The CMC trustees selected the Salida location to recognize the recent addition of the Salida and Poncha Springs communities into the Colorado Mountain College district.

Among other discussions, trustees voted to continue negotiations for two leases at campus properties – one at CMC Spring Valley and a second at CMC Leadville.

Spring Valley solar land lease

As part of a potential Holy Cross Energy solar project, CMC and Ameresco Solar, a solar energy development company, have begun negotiations on a ground lease that would transfer control of about 22 acres of campus property to Ameresco. Ameresco will use this land to construct a solar facility, selling the generated power to Holy Cross Energy.

It is expected that Holy Cross Energy, in turn, will replace CMC Spring Valley’s energy usage with solar-based energy generated by the Ameresco facility.

Board members unanimously approved the continued negotiation and finalization of the lease, subject to a third and final board approval.

Get Outdoors Leadville! lease

Get Outdoors Leadville! provides opportunities to Leadville community members to access nature and the outdoors through programs, equipment and support. In 2017, CMC and Get Outdoors Leadville! entered into an agreement for GOL! to construct a gear library at CMC Leadville that will lend outdoor equipment such as backpacks and cross-country touring gear. The gear library facility is currently under construction and expected to be completed in December 2020.

The proposed lease agreement will allow GOL! to operate the gear library at its cost and contribute $2,000 a year for repairs, maintenance and capital reserves.

At the September meeting, the trustees unanimously approved to continue negotiations on the gear library’s lease.

Other actions or discussions at the Sept. 1 meeting:

  • Two resolutions were adopted, each authorizing the college to offer matching funds for Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative programs for CMC students.
  • The board authorized CMC President Carrie Besnette Hauser to negotiate an agreement with the town of Breckenridge for the temporary relocation of utilities on the CMC-Breckenridge campus. This access would allow the town to begin construction of a bicycle/pedestrian underpass at Coyne Valley Road.
  • Recent community comments in the Glenwood Springs area have raised the issue of alternative uses for the Glenwood Center building. No decisions have been made, though a taskforce is forming to look at options. A statement is available on CMC’s website at
  • At CMC Steamboat, plans for a nursing simulation lab are progressing at the campus, with a projected completion date of January 2021. At an estimated cost of $1.2 million, this state-of-the art simulation lab will allow nursing students to do their clinical work on campus versus traveling to Denver to use lab facilities there. Construction design work is expected to be completed this week.