More parking spaces on the way with proposed ‘Center for Community’
The CU Board of Regents voted Aug. 16 to approve the proposal for a new 257,000 square-foot building that will cost $65.5 million in school funds.
The building project, called “Center for Community,” will house student services, a 72,000 square-foot dining hall and underground parking.
The project requires approval at the state level, and construction could begin as early as 2008, with completion of the building in 2010.
The new building would be built to the east of the Regent Administrative Center on Regent Drive near Broadway and would displace lot 327. An underground parking garage would contain as many as 375 new parking spaces — an increase of 125 spaces.
The proposal was a joint effort among CU Housing and Dining Services, Parking and Transportation Services, and Student Affairs. Each department would be responsible for paying their portion of the gross square footage, the largest percentage of which belongs to dining services.
“This is the first time the university has used three separate entities to fund a project,” said Deb Coffin, director of Housing and Dining Services. “This is a complex project, and will receive no state funding whatsoever.”
According to CU Regent Michael Carrigan, the current dining halls would require $20 million in renovations, which would also take up considerable dorm room space.
“By moving dining out of Kittredge, we can focus on expanding resident leaning centers, which seems to fit with the long-term goals of the university,” Carrigan said. “I wish the state would have funded it, but it seems like an important first step in becoming a world-class university.”
Now that the proposal is passed by the regents, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education has 60 days to review it before sending it to the Colorado State Buildings and Joint Budget Committee. The state must authorize university spending for the project.
Regents Cindy Carlisle and Tom Lucero cast the only dissenting votes.
“When you’re voting on a $65 million project, you would like more than a couple minutes to review the financing,” Lucero said. “I expect the best options and alternatives brought forward to the board.”
Lucero said he would have hoped for three separate proposals, or at least informed and thoughtful alternatives.
“I voted against it because I didn’t know exactly where the revenue was coming from,” Lucero said.
Other members of the board were more confident in the proposal and the administration.
“We heard similar financial concerns when the new law building was proposed, and it’s turned out to be a success,” Carrigan said. “I applaud the administration.”
Contact Campus Press editor Tim McAvoy at email@example.com.