Statement regarding CMC’s Glenwood Center
September 8, 2020KDNK radio story about Glenwood Center
September 3, 2020
As part of Colorado Mountain College’s ongoing commitment to its many communities, students, employees, and taxpayers, the college regularly evaluates the most efficient use of all of its facilities.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the college is not selling or closing its Glenwood Center on Blake Avenue and remains deeply committed to those who use the building regularly, including ESL, adult, and continuing education students; the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) participants and volunteers; Mini College; and others.
As a steward of taxpayer dollars, CMC strives to strike a balance among fiscal responsibility, quality programs, access for students, and service to community. This is particularly true in light of a global pandemic and its long-term budgetary and programmatic impact on public institutions of higher education. The college is conducting preliminary, exploratory discussions about the best use of college facilities across the Roaring Fork Valley; Garfield County alone is home to five separate campuses and centers.
Even before the pandemic closed in-person operations at the college’s 11 campuses and centers, utilization of the Glenwood Center was often light, outside evenings when courses were scheduled. Meanwhile, partner organizations in need of support were looking for options to better serve the community during difficult financial times. One such partner is Yampah Mountain High School, with which CMC is having conversations about possible lease arrangements. Yampah is a school that is funded by and supports all of the school districts in Garfield and Pitkin counties, and many of its graduates enroll at CMC. Given this alignment of missions, we have invited discussions about how to better use CMC’s physical assets to enhance the education of all residents in the region.
Additionally, the unexpected departure of US Bank from its previous location in the CMC Central Services building frees up a large, centrally located space in downtown Glenwood Springs. When combined with CMC’s Morgridge Commons and offices no longer needed by the Glenwood Springs Chamber and Resort Association (also housed in this location), nearly 25,000 square feet of space has new potential to support the college’s mission. Importantly, CMC’s accreditor recognizes the Glenwood Center as a “location” and not a primary campus, so most certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree programs can only be delivered with support from the Spring Valley campus which recently received more than $35 million of facility improvements and enhanced student support services.
Because CMC’s physical footprint in Glenwood Springs grew unexpectedly and considering that the college maintains three locations in close proximity to one another (Glenwood Center, Central Services/Morgridge Commons, and Spring Valley) we are actively examining how to continue to deliver high-quality education in Glenwood Springs while being mindful that the region has physical resources well beyond those found in other CMC communities.
Over the coming months, a working group will seek employee, student, and community input before any proposals are presented to the CMC Board of Trustees for its consideration. Importantly, the trustees have not voted on any proposals regarding the Glenwood Center to date, but are aware of the conversations underway and recognize the college’s fiscal realities in 2021 and beyond.
As the college’s working group goes through this process, we ask that all interested stakeholders remain open-minded and respectful, and maintain a willingness to listen, learn, and offer the benefit of the doubt as to the college’s intentions. CMC has always strived to do what is best for its students, employees, communities, and taxpayers spread across nine counties. And, over the course of the college’s 55 years, CMC has evolved in numerous ways, always adapting to changing circumstances.
If you have interest in being part of the discussions about the future of the Glenwood Center or sharing your views, please send them to: Glenwoodcenter@coloradomtn.edu.
College leadership recognizes the concern expressed by members of the community and acknowledges it as an expression of heartfelt affection for the Glenwood Center and the role it has played in many thousands of lives in the Roaring Fork Valley. These feelings and memories have our deep respect. We also embrace the notion that colleges are not simply buildings or campuses, but caring people, quality programs, and meaningful services. Colleges change lives and enhance communities, not only because of the buildings they maintain, but more so because of the relationships they create and the opportunities they offer, particularly for those with the fewest resources or options. Rest assured that CMC will always be a vital part of Glenwood Springs, regardless of physical space or methods the college uses to support its students.