Twenty years from now, the Auraria we know will be long gone.
By 2032, the “Auraria Master Plan” will have changed the face and scope of the entire campus, with all three schools expanding and redistributing.
The plan is headed up by each of the tri-institutional executives, including representatives from various faculty and student committees, and the Auraria Higher Education Center executives.
The plan will work to give each school its own unique, expanded neighborhood, while still sharing the common campus core (the Science Building, the library, and the King Center), and services that help all the schools, according to Jill Jennings Golich, the AHEC campus planner who helped draft the plan.
“[With this plan] each institution [will have] essentially one of the primary access ways to campus. MSU Denver is now [using] Auraria Parkway as well as 5th Street, for the new field properties which they’re developing, CU Denver will be along Speer Boulevard because they bridge downtown and have three buildings downtown, and the Community College of Denver whose primary home has been South Classroom on Colfax will concentrate their development along Colfax,” Golich said.
Along with the expanded, defined neighborhoods, the Auraria Master Plan is going to overlook what the campus infrastructure needs as most of the buildings date back to the late 1880’s. But the plan will also include potential new streets with bike facilities, and traffic changes.
After the Redwood Lot (North of the Athletic Fields) is torn down, a new parking garage at 5th Street and Walnut Street (part of the Elm Lot) will be built and open for Fall 2014. Golich said the campus would still maintain the same parking capacity from 2007 of 7,000 spaces (when changes were made to the master plan). Funding for the new garage will come from parking revenue.
According to Golich, between January and March, students will be seeing new monuments that identify the entire campus as a whole. Each school will update their existing monuments. New pedestrian, vehicular, and directional signage will be put up around campus, and the Auraria Master Plan team will be working with Denver to put up banners and new trees on Larimer which leads up to the campus.
Starting with MSU Denver, along with the Student Success Building and the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center, there will be a new building located at 7th Street and Auraria Parkway. Sean Nesbitt, MSU Denver’s Director of Facilities Planning and Space Management, said nothing has been decided yet and that the team will work on a plan within the next year that identifies the budget, funding, and what programs will go into the building.
He did clarify the new changes that will be made to the Athletics Field complex.
“We are still in the design phase and plan to begin construction in January. Phase one includes the tennis courts that were removed for the HLC. When funding becomes available, we hope to add baseball and soccer,” Nesbitt said.
Right now, CCD is constructing the Student Learning and Engagement Center on 7th Street and Curtis Street that will open for business in Summer 2013. Funding is coming from student fees and other sources.
“[The building] will house the services students need all in one convenient location, along with study areas and a café. The top floor, which has a spectacular view to the west, is a student study lab,” said CCD President Cliff Richardson. “The changes that have already been made provided [South Classroom] seven new classrooms, and work on the new café has begun. Soon, the renovation of the courtyard will begin and that will provide a beautiful southern entry to the campus.”
Renovation to the courtyard began Oct. 1, and it will be closed to pedestrian traffic until its completion on Dec. 31. Students can enter and exit South Classroom through the north, east and south doors.
UCD is designing its new building, which will be located on Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street, according to Cary Weatherford, UCD Senior Planner with the Office of Institutional Planning. It will house lecture halls, student services, and office space for their College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which is currently located in five different buildings. Construction for this project will begin January 2013 and will open in Fall 2014. No student fees will fund it.
“It’s the first building in our UCD neighborhood,” said Weatherford. “It’s meant to be the hub [of] our new neighborhood and we’re really excited about that.”
Each new project is bid out separately and multiple contractors from different construction companies are working on them.
Lastly, some buildings on the Auraria campus — which are currently being shared by the different institutions — will be moving around to their respective school neighborhoods over time. CCD will use South classroom, CU Denver will use North Classroom, and MSU Denver will use the administration building on 5th Street, according to Golich. Nesbitt also added that on Sept. 29-30, new classes from different areas of study were moved to the first floor of Central Classroom and that improvements will be made to faculty offices and classes of different studies until May.
“Depending on funding, depending on enrollment, and depending on needs, that really determines when new buildings will go up,” said Golich.
People: Jill Jennings Golich