From 1996 to 2009, CCHE operated out of small office and moved around looking for the perfect home. CCHE was housed in the Community Center, the lower level of Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and the old Dental Office – the brick house close to Highway 61 on 1st Avenue West. In the lower level of the clinic, a little computer lab was busy every day with students taking classes, testing and studying.
Growing enrollment necessitated expansion, although financing such a project was an issue. From 2004 to 2008, CCHE explored the following possibilities:
- Building on Sawtooth Bluff
- Purchasing the old US Forest Service offices
- Sharing space with the Grand Marais Public Library
- Building in the Cedar Grove Business Park
With assistance from the EDA and grants from the Blandin Foundation and IRRRB, CCHE was able to purchase the former Baptist Church in 2009. Russell Zenk was hired to design and renovate our campus using recommendations from a Space Needs Assessment conducted by Ron McGriff, a consultant from Pine Tech Community College. Glenn Peterson Builders was the general contractor. CCHE kept as much of the original building as possible.
In December 2009, the doors were opened! The space filled so quickly, it was hard to believe CCHE started with a one-room office. CCHE currently has 5 employees: 4 full time and one part time.
The upper level of the campus is used for offices, classes, workshops, ITV, testing, and events. The lower level is comprised of the large “Mark Abrahamson” classroom, two offices, and a student study room. The classroom is designed for health-related classes such as Nursing Assistant, CPR and Emergency response training. Mark Abrahamson has been an instructor for CCHE from the start. He teaches nursing assistant courses one or two times annually, and LPN and RN clinicals. Originally all of his teaching supplies were on a cart, moving place to place at the hospital. Establishment of the North Shore Campus facility meant he could have a designated classroom. In December 2013, the classroom was dedicated in his honor.