Environmental studies students at CU Boulder can soon except construction to begin for a new 300,000 square-foot interdisciplinary building on East Campus.
The university has acquired the rights to the old McAllister building, formerly known as the Qwest Building, on 47th and Colorado. Currently, the building has been rented out. Part of the plan is to renovate the 300,000 square-foot building into the new geoscience building. Construction is planned to be completed by fall 2014.
According to CU’s Facilities Management website, the new geosciences building will “support the continued development of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program in environmental science, energy systems research and education, positioning CU Boulder as a leader in environmental science, energy and sustainability.”
CU has acquired the McAllister building on East Campus and plan to finish renovating it by fall 2014. Above, construction elsewhere on campus. (CU Independent/Alison Bergh)
Gifford Miller, a professor of geological science and the assistant director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research said the goal was to provide a central home for the environmental programs at the university.
The renovations for the McAllister building are projected to cost $100 million and will include a new laboratory. Miller said the project will be completely funded by the university, through cash on hand and bonds issued by the university. The bonds are to be repaid by rentals for the federal partners and fundraisers from private sector.
Alongside the renovations, an additional building will be built next door that will be home to the wet chemistry laboratory, since the McAllister building does not have the infrastructure to support the laboratory. The additional building will be about 83,000 square feet, Miller said.
“The environmental programs are widely scattered around campus and this brings all those together, so those interactions have a higher place to take place,” Miller said.
Kevin Schickel, an 18-year-old freshman environmental studies major, said he is excited about the new building starting construction.
“This will be easier to access information and resources that are important to bettering my knowledge,” Schickel said.
Miller said that this project will highlight the environmental studies program and hopefully continue to draw attention to the university for its accomplishments in environmental studies/
“CU is top five in the U.S. in terms of the support we get for our environmental programs,” Miller said.
Kaley Pinover, an 18-year-old freshman engineer and open-option major, said that this new construction will hopefully be a positive addition to the environmental studies program.
“I think that it will be a big attraction for students who are interested in environmental studies in the university,” Pinover said.
Miller said the facility should provide the tools that students and faculty need in the pursuance of environmental studies.
“This has the potential to enhance the ability of both students and faculty to improve on research and educational side,” Miller said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Vanessa Harmoush at Vanessa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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