The University of Colorado Board of Regents on Friday, Nov. 9, approved a $45 million building addition that will physically connect CU Boulder’s Engineering Center, housing the College of Engineering and Applied Science, to the Koelbel Building, housing the Leeds School of Business, and spark new ways to think about higher education.
Construction is slated to begin in the spring on the addition, which includes nearly 30,000 gross square feet of renovation of existing space and construction of 45,000 gross square feet of new space, totaling nearly 75,000 gross square feet for the project.
The addition will include an innovation and entrepreneurship hub where students from any discipline can collaborate with business and engineering students, faculty and local business leaders, as well as four technologically-enabled, active-learning classrooms to foster collaborative teamwork and experiential learning.
“Business is becoming more collaborative, dynamic and technologically-advanced every day,” said Leeds Dean Sharon Matusik. “This project is so much more than a building expansion. We are breaking down traditional disciplinary boundaries and building cross-functional competencies in our students.”
Other major proposed features of the project include a 200-seat auditorium. A reorganization of William M. White business library, meanwhile, will enhance services and provide more efficient student study space.
"CU Boulder will soon be the only university in the country in which engineering and business students pass seamlessly between our buildings,” said College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Bobby Braun. “Connecting these colleges with the Boulder entrepreneurship community will elevate our students, our campus and our state."
The project is being funded primarily with donor philanthropy. Significant donors include The Anschutz Foundation, CU Foundation Trustee Alan Olson (Fin’62) and his wife Carol Ann (Soc’64), the Koelbel family (naming donors of the Koelbel building, which houses the Leeds School of Business), and local entrepreneurs and philanthropists Dan and Cindy Caruso.
The improvements that are part of the project will help accommodate the 22 percent growth in business program enrollment and 70 percent growth in engineering enrollment over the past decade.
Pending final approval by the Colorado legislature’s Capital Development Committee, completion is planned by the end of 2020.
“The addition of this facility also creates a physical innovation and entrepreneurship hub on campus that welcomes all CU Boulder students and the business community,” Matusik said. “Today’s vote was a pivotal step forward in a very exciting project. Together, we are redefining how tomorrow’s leaders change the world.”