Is CC looking to expand?


After ending The Leechpit’s lease, what’s next?

For nearly two years, Colorado College has been talking about its long-term plans to improve the college, most recently with the Strategic Plan. In interviews with administrators and through press releases, it would appear that this tiny liberal arts school is also aiming to grow.

It makes sense, but what is that going to mean for the surrounding community?

With each new year, a growing number of young people are striving for a college admission letter, and at CC that is no different. Incoming student applications for this academic year reached a record high, meaning a large number of those applicants were rejected.

Could only having roughly 500 spots per incoming class be a problem in the future? Should and could we expand and maintain the educational experience already offered?

In order to expand this campus, CC would either have to start cutting into our quads or utilize already-owned college property in the surrounding areas, including spaces where The Leechpit and businesses on Tejon St. are now located.

Maybe one day Armstrong Hall will be twenty stories high.

Last August, CC completed a land transfer agreement with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in which the administration waived rights to a reverter clause encompassing land near UCCS and across Nevada Ave. from the University Village shopping complex in exchange for a parcel of land.

That land, 480 acres in Jefferson, Colo. near Fairplay, is slated by gift-stipulation for academic use only. So far, Robert Moore, Vice President of Finance and Administration, says CC has no plans for the property. If utilized, it could represent a major expansion to CC’s three campuses in-state.

The newly formed Transportation Planning Committee has been discussing some major changes to the roads and intersections around campus to accommodate pedestrian foot traffic.

When Colorado College decided not to renew The Leechpit’s lease a few months ago, it marked a new major expansion of campus.

If that building on the corner of Dale St. and Nevada Ave. becomes a location for student activities, it would mark a major campus expansion southward, opening up that side of CC to new events and infrastructure.

With growth does come questions, nevertheless.

Community members have been asking what the impact of The Leechpit’s closing or relocation means for CC, and consequently what the impact of local business is on the community.

In Cornerstone, a giant blackboard poses the question, “How can we share the block plan with others?” There are many ways, but, personally speaking, there is a kind of magic in keeping this unique learning structure to ourselves.

Growing poses problems and risks, some of them maybe necessary. I think we can all agree, however, that we don’t want to compromise any part of this college.

Jesse Paul


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