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RANGELY I Grand Junction’s Asset Engineering Limited has finished the remodeling portion of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Rector Sciences Building, complete with a 120-seat lecture hall expansion scheduled for completion in the next two to three weeks.
CNCC facilities director and program manager John Bottelberghe said the $3.8 million program is on budget, adding that he expects some contingency funds will remain once final costs are totaled.
“We’re looking at how we can best use the money, or we may not use that money and let it go back to the (Rangely Junior College District) board,” Bottelberghe said. “We want to make sure the interior and the exterior are as beautiful as possible. This is a showcase facility that competes with Colorado Mesa (University) and other schools in the area.”
A winter storm last year delayed concrete work in the lecture hall, pushing back the expansion’s projected completion date. Over the next several days, workers will paint, install carpet and hang the lecture hall’s skyfold partition, a sound-blocking wall that can separate the hall into two teaching or meeting spaces.
Initial plans to obtain a certificate of occupancy for the remodeled space earlier than the expansion, which would have allowed faculty and students some access to classrooms and labs this spring, have changed as the prospect of shuttling people through work areas became increasingly unfeasible, Bottelberghe said.
Hopes to transfer the science department’s sizable cadaver cooler back from the Cramer Building while Asset crews remained on-site also won’t be realized.
Despite the changes, Bottelberghe is pleased with how disparate elements of the project have come together.
“I’ve very proud of the architect’s ability to step up and do design work as we see fit, as well as the contractor’s ability to execute the college’s vision and the architect’s vision,” he said.
CNCC grants administrator Mike Melneck said companies are expressing interest in using the lecture hall, which was designed to meet student, community and business needs for a large, technologically-equipped space.
Administrators won’t schedule events in the space, however, until all work is finished, including furniture and audio-video installation next month, college personnel moving into office spaces by semester’s end, and the completion of detailed “punch lists” ensuring the contracted work has been done correctly.
CNCC continues to seek support for the remaining portion of the Rector Building funding after administrators and the board channeled approximately $3.3 million last year from capital funds and grants originally earmarked for a wellness center.
Melneck said that, so far, the college has raised approximately $200,000 of the $500,000 needed to fully fund the remodel and expansion. That funding has come from an industry partner, a major foundation and individual contributions, with another foundation scheduled to make a site visit this week.
“As it stands with money in hand, we’re probably right around $300,000 away from paying for the whole thing,” Melneck said. “We’re gaining on it inch by inch.”
He said that although the college has not settled on naming rights for the lecture hall, CNCC is in “serious conversation” with an energy company for those rights.
He also hopes future possibilities for allied health degrees and programs linking health fields with information technology will develop in the near future, making the Rector Sciences Building home to new flagship programs for CNCC.