Found some useful information about how to switch between debug and release builds. It appears this is not done using a single build tree, but rather by having separate build directories configured for the specific type of build you wish to perform.  

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7724569/debug-vs-release-in-cmake

One of the supported build types is RelWithDebInfo, which could be useful for providing to people who are getting exceptions we're unable to reproduce. 

Rick