Construction on the Student Success Building is moving smoothly and is on schedule to open next year.
Located along Auraria Parkway just west of the Tivoli, the Student Success Building is the first of six buildings planned for construction that will comprise the future Metro State Neighborhood.
The Student Success Building has received a gold rating from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), for the numerous environmentally conscious considerations incorporated into its design and construction.
The building was constructed to maximize natural lighting and features a “green roof” which is seeded with plants that filter and regulate rain and snow runoff
“I love the green roof. I’m a gardener by nature and a part-time environmentally conscious person and I think that’s a great addition to have that green roof,” said Rae Shevalier, Associate Dean of Personnel and Student Affairs.
The building, which broke ground Dec. 3, 2010 will house all of Metro’ student support services as well as classrooms, administration offices and the new office of Metro’s President Stephen Jordan. With all student support in one area, Metro hopes to streamline the registration process and provide a more navigable college experience.
“The one-stop shopping concept will save a lot of time and confusion. I get frustrated when I feel like I’m given the run around, so having things centrally located will be a big plus,” Shevalier said.
When finished, the building will be 151,000 square feet and will increase classroom and administration space by 25 percent. Upon entry, visitors will be greeted by an open atrium, commons area. According to Sean Nesbitt, director of facilities planning and space management, the area will house a local coffee vendor that is yet to be announced.
“I think one thing that is going to be pretty amazing is the living room feel of the common area,” Nesbitt said. “You have this open spacious area but it’s not vast and doesn’t make you feel small. It still has an intimate quality to it but with a lot of openness.”
Artwork from students will be featured in the atrium as well as throughout the interior and along the outdoor plaza of the building. Students can submit art entries until the Dec. 15 deadline.
“It seems like they’ve done a lot of stuff to make it a really positive environment for everybody, students, the people that work there,” said Jennifer Tixier, a Metro financial aid counselor. “I think it will be really exciting to move in, start working there and just kind of be on a different part of campus.”
If construction continues at the pace it has been, Metro is set to begin moving into the building the week of March 26.
“Weather permitting and having the proper planning, I think we can get it done within six to seven days,” Nesbitt said.
The Student Success Building is the first Metro-owned building on the Auraria Campus. Most buildings are constructed and maintained along-side the Auraria Higher Education Center, CCD and UCD.
At a cost of $52 million, the building is being paid for through student fees that began at $5.25 per credit hour in fall 2010. The fees increased to $12.10 per credit hour in fall 2011 and will top out at $19.80 per credit hour in fall 2012. The fees will be applied until the building is paid off.
“My understanding is this building is supported by student fees, and if that’s the case, I just want to thank the students who voted for that to show their faith in Metro as an institution and the legacy they leave for future generations of students. I think that’s great,” Shevalier said.