The Salida School Board meeting on Tuesday, January 14, got a detailed update about progress since the ballot initiative 5A passed in the November 2019 election. According to Colorado Mountain College,  Vice President and Leadville and Chaffee County Dean Rachel Pokrandt, Colorado Mountain College (CMC) has just secured a storefront location to have an accessible and official presence in the Salida community.

“We have a location. We signed a [year] lease over the holiday break with Jeff Post to lease a space downtown at 202 N F St. It is such a dreamy location for what we are trying to achieve,” said Pokrandt.

The update from Pokrandt included information regarding the new storefront location, positions for hire and tentative plans for upcoming events.

CMC Storefront Location located at 202 N F St. (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

Pokrandt started the presentation sharing with the Salida School Board copies of a book that was published by the college in 2017 sharing their history and celebrating the first fifty years of the college.

“It strikes me that, in our next book, the first chapter will be about [Salida] because this is a big thing to happen for the college,” said Pokrandt. “This [book] is a history of the past, and what we get to do now is create the history of the future of the college. It is super thrilling.”

Pokrandt continued, “We want to be embedded in your community, we want people to stop by, we want them to see us and provide walk-in services. It’s a storefront location, and I know it’s not a campus, and that we all have in our heads what a campus looks like from when we went to college; we are getting there and will get there. We felt a need to open up a space and to have our staff in one space.”

CMC will be working in the coming months to set up the space for interacting with students, both current and potential, as well as community members. This set up includes making the space their own with marketing materials and branding, in addition to securing what type of furniture will be needed for the space.

A soft opening is expected to take place towards the end of February, no official date has been set. A grand opening of the storefront is expected to take place in April, with a tentative date of April 20.

In addition to sharing the news about the Salida storefront location, Pokrandt shared with the Salida School Board that CMC is also beginning to look at the types of positions that they will be hiring for. Positions include: an Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Enrollment Services Specialist, Business and Internship Instructor and Liaison, Math Faculty, and Adjunct Professors of all disciplines.

Pokrandt stressed the importance of finding people who live in the Salida community or want to live in the Salida community to fill the job positions, mentioning that the Associate Dean should be someone you see in the grocery store and around town.

Pokrandt said, “All of these positions will appear in your newspapers and in the Ark Valley Voice, giving local folks a chance to see them there. If you know of anybody who would be great for these positions, please encourage them to apply.”

Salida will be obtaining a certain percentage of positions that already exist in Leadville including Facilities, IT, the Fiscal Manager, Disabilities Services, Financial Aid and services provided by Rachel Pokrandt. Pokrandt shared that these services will support Salida from Leadville for the first couple of years, and as the Salida campus grows, those positions will be established and up for hire in Salida as well.