Down on the south campus of Colorado Mesa University, on 29 and D roads, resides the lineworker building for the students that are studying to become electric line workers. Electric line workers are those people that are seen working on the power lines to repair power boxes, power lines and several other electrical components that are essential for neighborhoods and building to function the way that they do.
The program has been around for a long time, 30 plus years, and as a result, the facilities that the students following this career path have become quite run down and in need of revamping.
“The reality is, what the lineworkers are in now is not very good. They are not in a facility that is comparable to the facilities that our other students are in,” said Dana Nunn, director of media relations.
The parking lot becomes a swamp when it rains and the building itself is old and outdated, giving cause to rebuild the facility that this long-standing program has taken place in. The project is planned into three phases to complete the building.
The first phase is an infrastructure improvement on the land that is zoned for the new building, north of the old building but still on the south campus. The cost is an estimated $240,000 to be doled out by CMU, which is part of CMU’s project match to the $289,125 that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved for the project back in June of this year.
The first phase is slated to be finished by Dec. 31, given that everything goes as planned. The second plan, set to start with the proper weather, will see the building’s shell constructed with an estimated $1.45 million given by the state government. This will all go towards the construction in phase two, and when it is completed, weather and funding permitting, the next and final phase will begin.
For the final phase, the plan is to finish the interior of the building and to finish the paving outside as well. This part, however, still needs the funding in order to be completed, of which CMU is trying to get approved. Another $1.473 million would be required to finish this final stage of the project if it gets approved.
“It is structured so should we not get that second state funding award, we could pause between the second and third phases, but we hope we won’t have to,” Nunn said.
If the pause is required, it takes more revenue to finish as starting and stopping workflow has various reasons that cause the price to increase, and this is a path that CMU doesn’t want to follow. It would cost more and slows the availability of the new building for the students to work in.
The new building will include a new, paved parking lot as a counter to the old one that, as Nunn compared, becomes a quagmire in the rain. There are also power poles that will be constructed within the building, which differs from the current poles that the students use to get accustomed to climbing and operating on which are outside. Leaving them up to the mercy of mother nature sometimes makes it dangerous to practice or halting it altogether.
With other improvements the new building will become just as good as the building the other students use, giving the lineworkers a good place to study.
The plan is underway and with the generosity of the state and the Mesa County Federal Mineral Leasing District, from whom the $289,125 grant is coming from. It will provide the resources that are required to complete the building. CMU will cover whatever is left over from the grants.