In an effort to meet a growing need, Coconino Community College has begun the process to develop student and workforce housing at the college’s center in Page.
The CCC District Governing Board, during a meeting on Monday, Aug. 31, unanimously voted to request proposals for a public-private partnership for development of student housing at the Page center.
Patricia Garcia, Governing Board Chair, said, “The District Governing Board is committed to serving our communities throughout Coconino County. We look forward to promoting workforce and economic development in Page through innovative educational and housing solutions. Although the College continues to have significant funding challenges, we are seeking new ways to offer career and technical programs that will meet the unique needs of the Page workforce.”
The model that was approved by the Board would require the developer to finance and maintain a student housing complex that would include short-term rental possibilities for the local workforce in Page.
“We have worked long and hard to develop solutions concerning how we can possibly provide educational opportunities across our beautifully diverse and immense county,” said CCC President Colleen Smith. “I am thrilled that after lengthy discussions and consideration, our Governing Board has elected to move forward in creating a public-private partnership as a way to help students access the education they seek.”
Governing Board Member Joseph Smith, who lives in Page and represents the Page area on the District Governing Board, said, “We are all very excited about the initiation of this process, knowing the impact housing accommodations will have on our student population in the Page area. The additional possibility to house the workforce population is also very exciting.”
Board member Smith added that, given the housing difficulties in Page, the proposed development is a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with the city of Page to develop a plan that is beneficial to all those involved.
“In many cases, people commute an hour or more to Page for education and work opportunities,” Board member Smith said. “With the completion of the student housing, we will be able to lessen the burden those people face because of their daily commutes and the associated time, energy and expenses.”
The action comes on the heels of the college developing a new Strategic Plan, “Students First: Vision 2025.” The plan, based on priorities established by the DGB members, includes student success, progressive business processes, strategic partnerships and sustainability through the responsible stewardship of economic, public and environmental resources.
The project is proposed for CCC property adjacent to the CCC center in Page, which sits on a 25-acre parcel donated by the city. Crews broke ground on the combined CCC/Page Public Library project in 1996.
The Request for Proposals will be carried out in three stages. Interested development companies will submit qualifications based on criteria set by CCC in the first stage. The second stage will focus on a shortened list of developers presenting preliminary design concepts, and, in the third stage, one private partner will be invited to negotiate with CCC to determine details of the design, financing and operation of the facilities.
A project team of members of CCC and the city of Page will evaluate the proposals, and President Smith will make a recommendation to the Board. Partner selection is tentatively scheduled for November 2020. For more information and documents, visit https://www.coconino.edu/purchasing/current-bids-and-proposals.
About Coconino Community College
CCC has served residents across 18,000 square miles of Coconino County since 1991. The College has the goal of improving the lives of our residents through workforce development and higher education.
CCC provides affordable tuition and more than 50 certificate programs and two-year associate degrees in academic and career fields. CCC also has programs that ease student transition to any of the three state universities, including the award-winning CCC2NAU.
CCC reaches out to the more rural portions of the County and Tribal Lands. Instructional sites offer classes through online, in-person and Zoom video conferencing classes to meet the needs of students in rural and remote areas. Nearly 20 percent of CCC’s students are Native American learners.