Public gets chance to weigh in on potential CWI campus in Boise

Treasure Valley residents will get their chance to say what a new College of Western Idaho campus would look like in two hearings planned for early September.

The school and CTA Architects Engineers will meet with people between 4:15 and 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.1, and Thursday, Sept. 3, at Whittier Elementary School, 301 N. 29th St., to hear what they would like on a campus planned at the corner of Main Street and Whitewater Park Boulevard, on the old Bob Rice Ford dealership property.

Also, a survey is available at

CWI announced in April that it intended to buy the 10-acre parcel for $8.8 million. The college immediately faced some public criticism for not first obtaining an appraisal to see what the property was worth and for not checking with the Ada County assessor to see its assessed value, which was $3.6 million. Trustees backtracked, and ordered an appraisal apologized for not getting the appraisal and ordered one, which showed the property valued at $8.97 million.

CWI wants a permanent campus in Boise to free it from leased space costing more than $1 million a year.

After the public meetings, CTA will meet with government officials and come up with several conceptual plans, which will be discussed at a public workshop at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at Whittier.

CWI would have to launch a fundraising effort to pay for the school. Preliminary estimates by school officials in April put the cost at about $70 million.

The school could ask voters to approve a construction bond, requiring a two-thirds vote, or start a capital campaign.

The college, which was created by voters in 2007, has not made a final decision to buy the property.