Community College might lease housing closer to school campus

Western Colorado Community College students may have a place to call home close to class in the near future.

Mesa State College is pursuing the idea of leasing an apartment complex to house students near the campus at 2508 Blichmann Ave., according to Mesa State President Tim Foster.

The community college is a part of Mesa State.

Community college students have the option of living on the Mesa State campus in central Grand Junction and taking a shuttle to and from the community college. Foster said he wants to see how popular the idea of having nearby community-college housing will be and test the waters with a lease for a couple years.

Building a structure with college money is not an option being pondered.

“I don’t want to: ‘Build it, and they will come,’ ” Foster said.

Foster said the college came close to a deal with one owner, but it fell through. He said possibilities in the area around the community college are limited, and the college is looking for a building that is “high quality.”

The college’s board of trustees discussed the possibility of Western Colorado Community College breaking farther away from Mesa State at a trustee meeting Thursday.

The board heard a presentation about the potential for the community college to become accredited separately from the college and confer its own degrees. Students who take classes at the community college earn a diploma that says Mesa State College.

The community college still would operate under the direction of the trustees even if accredited separately, but it could put its name on degrees.

It also would allow the school to apply for more grants, according to Brigitte Sundermann, vice president of community college affairs.

Separate accreditation would cost $20,000, $5,000 for each step of the lengthy accreditation application process, according to Sundermann.


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