La Junta District – Feature Stories
- 06/16/11 CSFS Hosts Open House at New La Junta Office
- 03/02/10 CSFS Breaks Ground on New La Junta District Office at Otero Junior College
On June 16, 2011, the Colorado State Forest Service and Otero Junior College hosted an open house to celebrate the new CSFS La Junta District office building on campus.
Colorado State Forester Jeff Jahnke, OJC President Jim Rizzuto, several CSU extension offices and the local Rocky Ford Research Station had representatives in attendence.
OJC leased the half-acre of undeveloped land to the CSFS for 35 years under an Interagency Lease Agreement between the Colorado Community College System and Colorado State University, the parent organization of the CSFS.
At the ceremony, an American Liberty elm was planted in memory of Tom Borden, the late state forester who first envisioned an Eastern Plains La Junta District during a February visit in 1981.
“The Colorado State Forest Service plays an important role in southeastern Colorado, and we as an institution look forward to partnering with them in program or service development for the people served by this facility,” said Rizzuto.
“The presence of the CSFS is an asset not only to Otero Community College and CSU, but to the La Junta and southeastern Colorado communities as well,” said Davis.
“This beautiful new facility sends a message of vitality, growth and sustainability, and coupled with the campus atmosphere provides the perfect opportunity to interact with students, citizens and our various publics and partners.”
The Colorado State Forest Service and Otero Junior College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on March 2, 2010, to mark the start of construction on the new CSFS La Junta District office building.
CSFS South Area Forester Mike Harvey, OJC President Jim Rizzuto and Colorado State University Construction Project Manager Tracey Abel spoke in front of a small group gathered for the ceremony, which took place at the construction site on the OJC campus.
OJC graduate Connie Ryan, who works for a Pueblo contractor, served as the principal architect on the planning for the new CSFS building. She was also in attendance at the ceremony.
The district outgrew its previous office space at the La Junta National Guard armory about 10 years ago, said La Junta District Forester Donna Davis. Her district has been leasing space on Santa Fe Avenue in downtown La Junta since then.
OJC leased the half-acre of undeveloped land to the CSFS for 35 years under an Interagency Lease Agreement between the Colorado Community College System and CSU, the parent organization of the CSFS.
“President Rizzuto and the OJC staff have offered the Colorado State Forest Service such a supportive and warm welcome to their campus,” said Jeff Jahnke, state forester and director of the CSFS.
“This location and the campus partnership will greatly support the CSFS mission for the seven-county district, and should enhance the college’s already outstanding presence in southeastern Colorado,” Jahnke added.
A private contractor chosen through a bidding process commenced construction on Tuesday immediately after the ceremony.
The new office will be located at 1904 San Juan Ave. The contractor expects to complete construction by September.