MONTROSE – At last week’s display of the new 3,200 square-foot expansion coming onboard at Colorado Mesa University’s Montrose campus, students were enthusiastic.
Colorado Mesa University elementary-school education student Andrea Dueser-Thompson pronounced it a "profound commitment." Fellow elementary education student Elena Moreno said that the planned expansion will make CMU-Montrose feel more like "a real college.
"We really needed this," said Moreno.
Addressing the crowd, CMU President Tim Foster said the goal for the new building at 245 S. Cascade Ave. is to create a facility that boosts enrollment, by making it easier for students to attend CSU in Montrose. "It's going to help students,” said Thompson, and “help get more opportunities for them.
“We’re trying to get more students involved” in CMU, he said.
School officials closed on the deal in late June, said CMU spokesperson Dana Nunn, who explained that the new facility will be designed for "student support," serving as home to a new student lounge, tutoring center, career services department, financial aid center and meeting rooms for student clubs and organizations; a new administrative office will be moved from CMU's main building at 234 S. Cascade Ave. to the new location, as well.
CMU will continue to lease office space to the facility’s current tenants, Edward Jones Financial Advisors.
Nunn said CMU purchased the building for $400,000, with the City of Montrose contributing $50,000 to the purchase price. "This is a great example of how CMU is working with the City of Montrose and Montrose County to expand CMU's campus in Montrose, and better meet the needs of our students and of the region," Nunn said.
"I think it's a nice opportunity and commitment," said Megan Miller. A 2012 Montrose High School grad, Miller lives at home while working toward a degree as a dental assistant (while working as well for Mountain West Smiles). "I wanted to make sure it's really what I want to do," Miller said, of getting her degree close to home.
The building was formerly owned and occupied by Patrick Davis and Associates, a local architecture firm.
CMU, founded in 1925, enrolls more than 9,000 students in associate, baccalaureate and graduate programs. School officials are now working with architects to complete plans for renovations.