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CWI Trustees Will Unveil Bond Initiative This Week to Fund Boise Campus


  • College of Western Idaho

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.

The long-vacant lot, west of downtown Boise, was once home to Bob Rice Ford. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • The long-vacant lot, west of downtown Boise, was once home to Bob Rice Ford.
“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.
  • CWI