Byyny's in the buildingBy MATT
WILLIAMS Colorado Daily Staff
CU officials broke ground on a new building Tuesday afternoon,
but no dirt was moved. In lieu of a traditional earth-and-shovel
ceremony, supporters of the Alliance for Learning Technology, and
Society (ATLAS) gathered under a portable tent northeast of the
University Memorial Center to celebrate groundbreaking of the $34
million ATLAS Center. Those in attendance weathered rising heat to
hear brief speeches from UCSU Tri-exec Garrett Stanton, donor Jim
Roser, ATLAS Director Bobby Schnabel and soon-to-be departing
CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny.
"This is a dream come true," Byyny said of the center, which had
been delayed three years because of budget cuts. The building is
only the beginning, he said. "The rest of the world will help invent
The ATLAS Institute is an "agile, campus-wide catalyst" for the
implementation of information technology at CU, according to the
motto on its Web site.
Bynyy said he was surprised when Schnabel announced that a
second-floor space within the center would bear the former
chancellor's name: the Byyny Teaching and Learning Center.
Officials said the five-story, 66,000-square-foot building will
facilitate interdisciplinary work for students and faculty at CU as
well as scholars around the world.
Schnabel called the building "a center that will transform CU
education." He said more than 6,000 students each semester will take
classes in the center. Construction is set to begin today at the
former site of the Hunter Science Building. The center is slated to
open in August 2006.
According to ATLAS, the building will meld the Tuscan Vernacular
architectural style of the Boulder campus with a prominent, carillon
"The ATLAS Center exemplifies what can be achieved through
partnerships," CU President Betsy Hoffman said at the event.
The biggest partner is the CU student body. Student fees will
cover $21 million of the building's $34 million estimated price tag
based on a vote by the University of Colorado Student Union last
According to a CU press release, the state of Colorado will chip
in $1.6 million and $6.5 million will come from private donations
and federal funds. Hoffman said Comcast and Microsoft Corp., among
others, are partners in the center.
"Because of the students, this building is going to be
remarkable," said UCSU Tri-exec Garrett Stanton. He praised the
successful passage of the Capital Constrion Fee last April, which
will help fund the ATLAS Center as well as the new Wolf Law Building
that broke ground last fall.
The construction fee will increase student fees at CU by $100
starting the fall 2006 semester, increasing to a $400 increase by
2002009. The fee will continue until 2025.
Stanton said he regrets that students have to foot the bulk of
the bill: "The reality being that students shouldn't have to pay for
Jim and Becky Roser, who are co-chairs of the ATLAS Advisory
Board, have donated $2.25 million for the construction of the
center. Their last name will be part of the building's official
title, though the ATLAS Center hasn't yet been named officially.
Despite his hefty contribution, Jim Roser admitted that CU's
students are integral contributors to the building. "Nobody has any
money except the students, so we love them," he