CU-Boulder Celebrates Topping Out Of Innovative Center For Students

Published: Sept. 22, 2005

The topping out ceremony for the innovative $32-million ATLAS Center, which will open for classes to 6,000 students on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus in August 2006, will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

"The building and its programs are unique in their emphasis on uses of technology and digital media by all students, particularly those majoring in the arts, humanities and social sciences," said Bobby Schnabel, vice provost for academic and campus technology and faculty director of ATLAS.

"This ceremony is to honor and thank PCL construction and all the workers for doing a great job on this project," Schnabel said.

ATLAS, an acronym for the Alliance for Teaching, Learning and Society, is a campus-wide institute that integrates information technology with multidisciplinary curricular, research and outreach programs. ATLAS' vision is to provide information technology for all students, particularly those who are not in technology fields, and those in diverse communities at CU-Boulder and K-12 schools.

The new 66,000-square-foot building is located on the site of the former Hunter Science Building northeast of the University Memorial Center. The center has three floors above ground and two below. It will house modern technology-enhanced teaching, learning and research facilities for students, faculty and community members.

Construction of the ATLAS Center began last February. The topping out ceremony represents the placement of the final steel beam for the structure.

Features of the center include:

o A large, 3,000-square-foot "black-box" performance studio and 1,000-square-foot video production studio.

o A 75-seat university film screening room, expected to be one of the best in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.

o A 150-person technology-enhanced auditorium used for instruction, campus programs and community events. The auditorium will feature distance learning and video conferencing capabilities, as will one of two 40-student classrooms and the ATLAS Advisory Board room. The building also features two 25-student computer classrooms.

o An exhibition lobby showcasing student projects.

o A beacon-like lighted tower on the northeast corner of the building. The tower, a distinctive architectural feature, conveys an ATLAS vision of student learning, advanced technology, innovation and the future.

o Advanced editing and graphics equipment available to all students; a student computer commons; wireless Internet connections; and a cafe open to the public.

The center will house the ATLAS Institute, including its 250-student program called Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) and its Evaluation and Research Group; The Collaborative Arts, Media and Performance (CAMP) program; the core offices of the National Center for Women & Information Technology; faculty and staff offices for the film studies department; and the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program and Graduate Teacher Program. _

Of the building's $32 million estimated cost, $1.6 million will be provided by the state of Colorado, $6.5 million has been raised from private donations and federal funds, and about $21 million will be funded by newly approved student fees. An additional $5 million for construction and operations still must be raised from private sources. __

Jim and Becky Roser of Boulder made a $2.25 million co-naming gift for the ATLAS Center, and Comcast made the second largest private gift, a $1 million donation.

A collection of spaces housing the program to enhance the quality of teaching and learning will be named the Byyny Teaching and Learning Center, in honor of former CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard L. Byyny.

For more information on ATLAS and the new building go to the Web site at: .