When College of Western Idaho trustees face the media at a press conference Tuesday, Sept. 6, they're expected to push for a bond initiative to help finance a three-building campus west of downtown Boise.
The Tuesday presser is set for 11 a.m. in Nampa—right after CWI trustees wrap up a meeting at the college's Canyon County campus, where they're expected to sign off on the initiative, which should appear on this November's ballot.
In April 2015, CWI signed a purchase agreement for the 10-acre parcel near Main Street and Whitewater Boulevard for $8.8 million. Soon after the agreement went public, it was learned the property had been assessed at $3.6 million. In July 2015, CWI officials said
their own appraisal valued the land at $8.975 million but they would undergo due diligence on the pending sale.
“After reviewing all the factors associated with long-term development on the property, we believe it will be the best solution for a permanent Ada County Campus,” wrote Guy Hurlbutt, CWI board vice chairman in a prepared statement.
“The property offers great access and the capacity to build a campus that meets the needs of our community, with the added potential to be a great anchor for Boise’s West End.”
In early August, CWI officials were more specific about their hopes for a Boise campus, to be located on the former site of the Bob Rice Ford dealership. The construction cost, they said, would come in at approximately $180 million. A best-case scenario would see the Boise campus completed in 2020.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter jumped the gun a bit when he threw his support behind a bond initiative to fund the campus during his Sept. 1 State of the City address:
"It'll take all of us to get the two-thirds vote that they'll need," said Bieter.
In addition to funding the proposed Boise campus, the bond initiative is also expected to include funding for a new health sciences center and a student center at CWI's existing Nampa campus. The amount of the bond and its time frame will be disclosed Tuesday.