CWI trustees vote to put $180M bond on November ballot

The bond would help the growing community college meet the needs of students.

NAMPA -- The College of Western Idaho's Board of Trustees has voted in favor of putting a $180 million bond on the November ballot.  The reason - anticipated student population growth.

"There's no question we'll grow to 35 or 40,000 thousand students," said CWI President Dr. Bert Glandon. "If you don't put the infrastructure in place now to be able to serve 35-40,000 students then you're really not getting in front of what the community needs are going to be."

Growing cities, a competitive economy, and a growing student population spurred the $180 million bond meant to expand CWI.

"I grew up here and I've never seen a better time in our city and in the valley," said Mayor Dave Bieter. "It's the right kind of growth. It's sustainable, it's not a bubble, it's the kind we love to see. We're in a building boom, people need workers but they need those skills on top of that."

Those skills, officials hope will be honed through developments funded by this bond. In Boise, the bond will bring high demand programs, two year associate degrees that transfer, and training labs to that campus. The first proposed project for the Nampa campus is a four-story Health Science Building next to the existing Academic Building. 

"It would consolidate all our health science programs across Ada and Canyon County," said Glandon. "It would put them in one building, it would help us to work way more effectively with the health care industry."

This is an industry that Clint Child, vice president of patient services at Saint Alphonsus in Nampa, says sees the desperate need for more students graduating with specific skill sets.

"The shortage is really ongoing with the growth in the community and the people moving in, as well as the aging community," said Clint. "The growth that is coming is over 55 so that's making the shortage that we're experiencing even worse." 

The bond would cost taxpayers in Ada and County counties an estimated $22.31 per $100,000 of assessed value each year for 25 years.

The Board has identified several major projects to meet CWI's projected growth and demand.

The list of proposed projects include:

Nampa Campus

Health Science & Central Services Buildings:

State-of-industry health career training in support of high demand jobs including: Nursing, Medical & Surgical Technicians; and Emergency Response Professionals

Centralized infrastructure facility serving all current and future campus buildings
* Campus site infrastructure including utilities, roadways and campus commons that will save the College money and prepare for future campus growth.
* Designed to provide flexibility for future campus growth through sustainability and high efficiency systems

Student Success Center & Career Technical Facilities:
• Student Success Center will serve as central hub for supporting students, staff and the community. Services and resources, including:
* Library Learning Commons
* Registration and financial advising 
* Career advisement and transferability
* Clubs and Organizations Center
* Community Meeting Space

• Career Technical Facilities will centralize and expand program support for high demand agriculture, horticulture and truck driving career ready programs

Ada County Campus in Boise

• New urban campus supporting Boise metro students, businesses and community
• Initial phase of Boise campus to include high-demand programs such as two-year associate degrees that transfer and career technical programs including Information Technology, Management and Business Support Services
• Designed with strong flexibility for training labs, dynamic classrooms and meeting spaces
• House programs already offered in Boise serving more than 7,000 students with anticipated growth

The bond election will be held on Nov. 8, 2016. It is the first time voters have been approached for a bond since CWI was founded.  

Click here for more information about bond.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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