CWI trustees vote to place $180 million bond on November ballot

Posted at 11:01 AM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 21:26:47-04

The College of Western Idaho’s Board of Trustees Tuesday voted to place a $180 million general obligation bond on the November 2016 ballot, to fund campus development of a  Boise campus and to expand Nampa program offerings to serve more students.

The bond would impact Ada and Canyon county taxpayers based on property assessed value. The bond would cost taxpayers an estimated $22.31 per $100,000 of taxable value each year for 25 years, school officials said.

The College of Western Idaho Bond Measure will be on the November 8th ballot in both Ada and Canyon County.

CWI has grown from 1,200 students in its first semester in 2009, to serving more than 20,000 students a year -- with projections for continued growth in the years ahead.

This is the first time Ada and Canyon County voters have been approached for a bond since the College was founded. 

“As we look to the future of the Valley, we understand the need for affordable, innovative, industry-driven higher education is going to continue to grow. We are committed to strategically positioning CWI to ensure it not only supports the community now, but well into the future,” said Board Chair Mary Niland.

The Board has identified several major development projects that are needed to support CWI’s current student population while also positioning the College to meet projected growth and demand.

The list of proposed projects include:

-A State-of-industry health career training on the Nampa campus to support high-demand jobs including nursing, medical and surgical technicians, and emergency response professionals.

-A centralized infrastructure facility serving all current and future campus buildings, including utilities, roadways and campus commons “that will save the College money and prepare for future campus growth,” according to a CWI news release.

-A Student Success Center that will serve as a central hub for supporting students, staff and the community. Services and resources would include a Library Learning Commons, a center for clubs and organizations to meet, as well as a designated community meeting space.

-Additional Career Technical facilities would centralize and expand program support for high demand agriculture, horticulture and truck driving career-ready programs.

The bond measure would also fund a new, three-building urban campus for Boise students, businesses and the community. It would be located west of downtown Boise, near Whitewater Park Blvd.

The initial phase of the Boise campus would include two-year associate degrees for career technical programs including Information Technology, Management and Business Support Services.

The buildings would be designed with strong flexibility for training labs, dynamic classrooms and meeting spaces, according to the release.

CWI’s Trustees have been in ongoing discussions about the best way to address challenges associated with the College’s enrollment growth since opening its doors in 2009.

“College of Western Idaho is at an exciting and critical point in its history,” said CWI President Dr. Bert Glandon. “As we plan for the future, we must continue building a sustainable infrastructure and prepare for anticipated growth in demand for new programs and more offerings. CWI is positioned to expand its role as a catalyst for education and the economy in the Treasure Valley for years to come.”