$180 million CWI bond may or may not return

Teya Vitu//February 20, 2017

$180 million CWI bond may or may not return

Teya Vitu//February 20, 2017

A hallway at the College of Western Idaho. File photo.
A hallway at the College of Western Idaho. College officials said they haven’t yet decided how they’re going to move forward with paying for a new  Boise campus after the defeat of a $180 million bond in November. File photo.

The College of Western Idaho is “re-evaluating everything” before moving forward with financing the $180 million creation of a new Boise campus and expanding its main Nampa campus.

CWI’s $180 million bond measure was defeated in the November election. The bond did receive 57 percent approval, but Idaho law requires two-thirds approval.

Newly seated CWI Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Dunham in November announced a small working group would determine how to move forward with the two-campus project. The group likely will not have its first formal meeting until the Legislature adjourns, CWI spokesman Mark Browning said.

The group includes Dunham, Browning, CWI President Bert Glandon, CWI Vice President Craig Brown and CWI Foundation Executive Director Mitch Minnette.

“We are looking at every project, every nuance, every possibility from scope, need, cost, location, available and possible funding options, timing – everything,” Dunham said in a prepared statement. “This is a continuation of the very solid work that was done in early 2016 and was put before the voters this past November.”

Several business leaders and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter have expressed strong support for CWI’s expansion plan in Boise. In his State of the State speech in January, Otter called on voters in Ada and Canyon counties to give their “positive consideration” to CWI’s efforts to expand, though he didn’t include a recommendation for state funding for the project.

It is unknown at this time when or if the $180 million bond measure will return.

“Before we move forward with any new measure for approval from our constituents, we plan to hold forums wherein we plan to gather input and feedback from all the communities and neighbors we serve proudly here in the Treasure Valley,” Dunham said.