The seven-year quest to build a shared facility for North Idaho College, the University of Idaho, and Lewis-Clark State College has achieved a groundbreaking date and proposed opening date with the recent hiring of an architectural team.
The Idaho Division of Public Works in April selected H2A Architects of Coeur d’Alene and Integrus Architecture of Spokane to build a two-story, 30,000-square-foot structure on the NIC campus. It’s the first embodiment of a regional concept for an education corridor bringing together five institutions at one site.
Groundbreaking for the $9.7 million North Idaho Collaborative Education facility in Coeur d’Alene is expected next spring, and occupancy is slated for fall 2018, said Mark Browning, NIC’s vice president for communications and governmental relations.
The North Idaho College Foundation in 2009 bought 17 acres adjacent to the college that had been the former Stimson Lumber Co. mill to create a continuous “education corridor” between U.S. 95 and Lake Coeur d’Alene. The intention is to develop a shared campus on 12 buildable acres for satellite facilities for the University of Idaho, Lewis-Clark, Boise State University and Idaho State University and expanded space for NIC.
This consortium in 2010 envisioned a $21 million, 70,000- to 80,000-square-foot collaborative education building with a potential opening date in 2013.
“To be real honest, it was a reality check,” Browning said. “That was total pie in the sky. When we looked at it, we said, ‘We can do it at this size (30,000 square feet for $9.7 millon).'”
The North Idaho Collaborative Education facility is expected to have 16 classroom for 30 to 40 students and student services such as registration, financial aid and counseling for the three institutions. The institutions have not determined which courses will be offered in the new facility, Browning said. U of I and Lewis-Clark now have a Coeur d’Alene satellite campus in the former Osprey Hotel building, which is owned by the city.