College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) vision for a new campus in Boise is taking shape. On Tuesday (Aug. 9) CWI shared its long term development plans for a permanent Ada County Campus at 3150 W. Main St. in Boise. CWI President Bert Glandon provided the audience of over 150 people with insight into the urban campus conceptual design that has emerged from initial surveying of the property.
“This is an exciting time for College of Western Idaho in our growth and development and the things that we’re doing,” said President Glandon. “CWI is at a pivotal point in its development. We have moved from a brand new institution addressing pent-up needs and demand in the Treasure Valley to a college that is evolving into an economic catalyst for our region.”
CWI’s Board of Trustees revealed signs on the property that portray the vision for the campus. The plan would provide roughly 600,000 square feet of building space, constructed in three phases over several years. CWI’s goal is to have the first building of approximately 150,000 square feet completed and offering classes as early as fall 2020. The campus is currently proposed to house a mix of technical programs such as Information Technology and Business, as well as transfer degree classes.
Boise Mayor, Dave Bieter, was one of the guest speakers at the Boise campus vision event. Mayor Bieter expressed excitement for CWI’s development plans in Boise and shared his thoughts on the important role the College plays in the local community.
“It is the finest site I could think of, anywhere in the city of Boise, to put the facilities that we are looking at,” said Bieter. “Our economy, our jobs, our city, our valley, and our state, simply have to have the skills to compete and CWI is all about that. And, this spot is ideal for that kind of activity and that kind of job generator.”
The event also featured comments from Boise Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Ray Stark, Boise State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Martin Schimpf, and CWI graduate Lisa Webb. Dr. Schimpf provided insight into the unique relationship between Boise State and CWI.
“CWI and Boise State are partners,” Schimpf said. “Our successes are intertwined. Together, with the support of this community, we will meet the challenges ahead.” He added, “Together, we are a powerful engine that will drive the Treasure Valley economy into a future that now holds such good promise.”
On the heels of finalizing a five year strategic plan which included a comprehensive environmental scan, projections indicate there could be a need for CWI to serve up to 40,000 students while increasing access to programs in high demand fields.
“We want to see this happen soon,” Bieter added. “Again, we’ve got residential development, commercial development; everybody anticipating this is going to happen. And it is up to all of us to help make it happen because it is a game changer for our whole area and certainly for this part of downtown Boise.”
Continued programming and planning is expected to occur over the next year to further define the campus offerings. CWI will invite the community to take part in these sessions. To stay well-informed of the latest information please sign up for CWI’s e-newsletter.