©  2011 Idaho Press-Tribune

NAMPA — The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation will donate $6 million to the College of Western Idaho to purchase the former Sam’s Club building and parking lot on Franklin Road in northeast Nampa for professional-technical programs.

Most of the programs will move from Boise State University as part of an agreement with the Nampa-based community college, which has taken many technical programs from BSU. It will shift some jobs to Nampa.

The college will begin preparation for a fundraising campaign this week for money to prepare the empty building for its new use.

“What Albertson is looking for on the front end is what kind of appetite does the community have to be players” in the project, CWI President Bert Glandon said. “We are looking to try to match the contribution they are making.”

The building located at 5725 Franklin Road in Nampa will provide about twice the current square footage to house eight Boise State University programs and one program now at CWI’s main Nampa campus.

Nampa Mayor Tom Dale said the move will fill an important vacancy for the city and help meet the growing demand for the college’s services.

“We were saddened by the loss of a major retailer with Sam’s Club moving out. This is a move we hope will bring a lot more synergy to that area and a lot more activity to that area with teachers and students coming and going,” Dale said. “I’m really pleased that CWI will be able to meet the continued demand that we see in the community for this kind of college, this kind of an education.”

The eight programs from BSU include:

  • Diesel technology
  • Automotive
  • Auto body
  • Power sports
  • Welding
  • Manufacturing
  • Machine tool
  • Electronics

Drafting will also move from the CWI Canyon County Center to the new building, as well as student services for the nine programs. The facility is projected to be available for classes in fall 2012.

“We can’t thank Albertson enough,” Glandon said.

More Coverage

By the numbers

  • The old Sam’s Club will accommodate between 1,000 and 1,500 students and about 35 faculty and staff. It will also house student services such as financial aid and counseling for the professional-technical programs.
  • The facility is 138,000 square feet, but the college could add a partial second floor to increase the size to 175,000 square feet.
  • CWI will approach the advisory committees of the programs scheduled to move to the new center to see how they can help financially and with in-kind contributions to start operations at the building.
  • Nampa-based CWI has grown from 1,200 students when it opened in January 2009 and today has an enrollment of more than 7,000.

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