Course management system (CMS) is expected to be a part of major system developments in educational intitutions as the information technology continues to emerge into all levels of education. Particularly, this trend has also been expanded to all post-secondary institutions. Indeed, the adoption of packaged commercial CMS (e.g. WebCT and Blackboard) is a common practice in most institutions, yet it is often lack of flexibility to satisfy the special needs in the institutions, especially in our community college. In addition to the issue of system design, a long-term financial commitment and the high cost of system maintenance are expected, which stands as the stumbling block in the college development To solve our challenges, we have adopted the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE)  that offers an open and community source framework. In this paper, we propose a practical implementation method based on our design experience on our newly developed CMS using the Sakai project platform. Our approach is a cost effective solution with minimum resources usage such as the size of the development team, project time frame, and hardware requirements. In addition, technical backgrounds including the system architecture, software installation, tools development and system enhancements will be introduced and explained in details. We believe our experience in CMS development and research findings can make a significant contribution to the post-secondary institutions, especially in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2010 IEEE.