KRCC ‘earthship’ to be built at Uintah and Mesa
Facility proposed on 1½ acres would be off utility grid

       Under plans presented recently to City Planning, Colorado College's KRCC radio station would move up from a mere building downtown to an “earthship” on the Westside.
       The 4,000-square-foot facility and 13-vehicle parking lot are on proposed on two properties totalling just over 1½ acres at the southeast corner of Mesa Road and Uintah Street.
       “The development concept is to construct an unobtrusive, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable structure, in a style similar to that of an 'Earthship,'” reads the Project Statement from the NES planning firm. “Earthships are dwelling units designed to exist independently, without requiring connection to the utility grid.”
       The double request to the city is for approval of the Colorado College Earth Station on 1.57 acres and for approval of a zone change from residential-estate to SU (Special Use).
       Comments are being taken by City Planner James Mayerl at 385-5360. Planning Commission approval will eventually be required.
       The statement continues that “the college intends to permanently preserve the hillside and ridge top from future development, for the enjoyment of future generations. The SU zone would appropriately represent the educational uses of the site, which include: the construction and operation of the Earthship as a demonstration of environmentally sustainable technology; the operations of the college-run KRCC/NPR [National Public Radio] radio station; and the utilization of the site [mainly the hillside and ridge areas] for field testing by students.”
       Structures currently on the site are a single-family residence and a carport with attached shed. According to NES, the house is a 1,320 square-foot, two-story that was built in 1919. “The carport and shed would likely be demolished with the development of the new parking area, and the house is proposed to be made available for relocation to another site,” the statement explains.
       The NES statement does not go into detail about the facility's self-sustaining aspects, but quotes from a website that “Earthships utilize recycled and low embodied energy materials, passive solar heating and cooling, photovoltaic power system, catchwater, solar hot water, gray water and black water treatment systems.”
       Currently located on North Weber Street, KRCC is an FM station, generally left of center politically, that focuses on news and music.

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