The Kresge Foundation has awarded a grant of $600,000 to CU-Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science to assist with the construction of the Discovery Learning Center, an innovative facility that will help to expand student involvement in research.
The Kresge Foundation grant represents the latest success in a multi-year fund-raising campaign that already has generated $6 million in private giving and bequests for the project. The state of Colorado also has committed $7.8 million, or about half of the $15.3 million cost of the facility.
The 45,000-square-foot learning laboratory, which is part of a college of engineering initiative on research-based learning, is in the design phase. Ground-breaking is scheduled for next spring, with a fall 2001 opening projected.
"The tremendous support we have raised for the Discovery Learning Center is evidence of Colorado's need for additional high-tech educational resources," said engineering Dean Ross Corotis. "The College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder, which has a strong record in educational innovation, is stepping up to the plate to help meet this need."
The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation supporting institutions in the areas of higher education, health and long-term care, arts and humanities, human services, science and the environment, and public affairs. The Foundation has awarded 165 grants to date in 1999, for a total of more than $88 million.
In order to qualify for this grant, the college must raise the rest of the $1.3 million needed in private support by Jan. 1, 2001.
Discovery Learning Center
The Discovery Learning Center is part of a college-wide initiative by CU-Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science to engage students in inquiry-based learning at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
The new facility will create a team-based research environment in which undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members and industry partners work together to solve current research problems.
The DLC will provide a high-tech environment, including a large video display that can be partitioned for multimedia teaching, interactive research work and "virtual" workshops.
Building space will be re-configurable to meet the needs of different research projects as they come on line.
The DLC will address a critical space shortage in the Engineering Center, which was built more than 30 years ago when the college had fewer students, faculty and research programs.
The size of the new facility will be 45,000 square feet.
The building will be located at the southwest corner of Regent Drive and Colorado Avenue, connected to the Engineering Center complex.
College leaders expect to begin construction next spring, with a fall 2001 opening projected.
The $15.3 million project is being funded with a $7.8 million state appropriation and matching dollars from private donors. The state Legislature approved a one-year appropriation for design and construction, and both phases of the project were included in the 1999 appropriations bill signed by Governor Owens in May.
The college is working with Klipp Colussey Jenks DuBois Architects of Denver to design the new facility. KCJD Architects also designed the college's Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory, which won the "Best of 1997" award from the Daily Journal's Construction Management Report, the state's leading construction publication.