Published: Oct. 26, 2017

Breaking ground.

CU Boulder broke ground today on a new 144,000-square-foot aerospace engineering building, with even spacesuit-clad mascot Chip turning one of the first shovels-full of dirt for the project.

The state of Colorado is a hub of the nation’s aerospace industry, and the new facility, slated to open in the summer of 2019 on East Campus, aims to put CU Boulder’s nationally ranked Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the center of that innovation.

“CU Boulder has long been at the forefront of aerospace education and research, and this new facility showcases our commitment to enhancing the ability of our students and faculty members to lead in a way that is innovative and impacts humanity in a positive way,” said CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano.

DiStefano and other guests, including College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Bobby Braun, Jay Lindell of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and CU alumna Kathryn Tobey, a Lockheed Martin Space Systems executive, joined students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members in kicking off construction of the new facility. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in front of the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Community (SEEC), and attendees were offered a chance to take virtual reality tours of the new building.

CU Boulder’s aerospace engineering sciences graduate program is ranked among the top 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

“CU Boulder’s investment in this new facility will support not just Colorado’s workforce, but the research and partnership that will further drive our success as a state,” Lindell, aerospace and defense champion in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office, said. “Together, we will ensure Colorado remains an international leader in aerospace innovation.”

More photos and video from the groundbreaking