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 Tuesday, May 18, 2010 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Campus Construction Providing Much Needed Buildings for CU-Boulder
by Bill Ward, assistant director for construction

With spring commencement past, students leaving and new people coming to campus for the summer, it seems like a great opportunity to update our campus community and the readers of Inside CU on the progress of existing projects, and the beginning of new ones.

When you walk out of the north entrance of the UMC, you will notice the new Visual Arts Complex. This 170,000 square foot building blends in nicely with the Rural Italian Vernacular style that CU-Boulder is known for. The complex opened its doors to art and art history students and faculty in December, and the art museum has been enjoying the new space since March. Promoting new interdisciplinary work, and state-of-the-art studio space, this building truly is a sight to see.

The Institute of Behavioral Science building, located in the NW part of campus, is well underway, with the hope of bringing researchers from nine different buildings under its roof this fall. The $13.4 million project will bring one of the oldest departments on campus together under one roof for the first time in over 50 years.

We began work last February on the new Center for Community (C4C) project, a 323,000 square foot building located just east of Regent that pedestrians can safely get to by walking through the new Regent Crossing underpass. C4C seems to be flying up, and is expected to open doors to the new, innovative dining facility this August. Student services, such as the Office of International Education (OIE), Career Services, and Disability Services, among others, are anticipating welcoming students to their new location early in the fall of 2010.

The new student service office location frees up space in Willard and Hallett Halls, which will both begin renovations this summer to allow more bed space for students on campus. These projects, in addition to the progress being made in the Kittredge complex, are helping to move the university in the direction of a living-learning lifestyle that is a goal in the Flagship 2030 strategic plan.

With research as another significant driver in the Flagship 2030 plan, we are anxiously watching the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building take shape on East Campus. The Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology (CIMB), will first house biochemistry, chemical and biological engineering in 261,000 square feet of modern laboratories in the fall of 2011.

On main campus, JILA is looking forward to a heavily anticipated addition. This 50,000 square foot addition began work this May, and will continue into January 2012. This tight site provides many challenges for the contractor – bordered by Baker residence hall, Imig Music, Environmental Design, and of course JILA. There will be unavoidable disruptions to the area, and during the summer, campus commuters may find it easier to avoid the area entirely. JILA is a joint research institute between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado. Because of this unique relationship, the project has the benefit of receiving federal funding through NIST.

Athletics is looking forward to welcoming new coaches to a new basketball/volleyball practice facility. The facility broke ground in April, and is expected to be open for business in August 2011. The facility, which will be attached to the Coors Events Center, will hold two NCAA regulation size basketball courts that will also serve as volleyball courts. The extra courts help alleviate a multitude of scheduling issues that the Coors Events Center has dealt with for years.

CU students have been driving the campus in sustainability initiatives for years. As proof of their success, the new Williams Village IIa residence hall will open in August of 2011 as one of the ‘greenest’ residence halls in the nation. Currently, the building is tracking for a rating of LEED Platinum, with the university anticipating a focus on sustainable design once the students move in. This living laboratory will be the perfect atmosphere for students to learn about the building in which they live.

Once students return this fall, the UMC Alferd Packer Grill and Baby Doe’s Café will be under construction, creating a new, roomier, more convenient area. The remodel is expected to be completed in the middle of fall semester. The UMC will experience some restraints during construction, but is expected to be open for business.

The CU Museum of Natural History will be closed for the summer into January due to construction adding two external stair cases, and a fire sprinkler system. The Henderson museum building is one of Charles Klauder’s first buildings on campus, and is in need of significant fire and life safety improvements.

With the economic hardships the state is facing, you may be curious to know how the university is able to undertake so many projects. As people say, construction is a good sign of a healthy university, and we have a proven track record for finding alternative funding when other funding is not available. Most projects are funded through auxiliary fees over the long term, gifts from private donors, and cash funding. Ultimately, these projects are being completed with little or no state funding.

We understand the campus may feel like one large construction zone, however, we appreciate your patience and truly believe these projects benefit the whole. As always, please email Planning, Design and Construction with your comments or concerns.



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