Regents approved plan on Aug. 16; now must receive state approval
CU’s campus might not be done with cranes, construction and detours any time soon, after the regents approved a five-year Capital Construction Plan that will cost nearly $700 million.
The plan isn’t ready to begin construction yet, despite the regents’ approval of it on Aug. 16. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education must first approve the plan, and then the state legislature must authorize the spending. If the plan passes both of these checkpoints, construction would begin in the 2008-2009 school year.
In 2000, the regents had proposed the capital construction budget at $120 million for the campus. The new construction plan exceeds this by $580 million.
Currently, the state has only allocated $48 million in funds to support statewide needs such as those of CU.
“The University of Colorado at Boulder is not going to have a big portion of that at all,” said Cindy Carlisle, regent of the 2nd Congressional District.
Parking fees, parents associations and alumni will contribute a small amount to the construction plan, but the majority of the money will come from the students. A capital construction fee approved in 2004 by the Board of Regents, as well as the University of Colorado Student Union, will be where the money comes from, as students pay it along with other student fees.
“I wasn’t on the Board of Regents when the vote was taken for the capital construction fee, but I would have voted no,” said Stephen Ludwig, who began his term as CU regent in January 2007. “I put myself through college, so I’m sensitive to the subject.”
The fee, which began at $100 this year, will increase to $400 a year until the construction is complete.
The money will help fund the construction and renovation of many buildings, including the visual arts complex, Ekeley and the Kittredge housing complex.
Two major additions to the campus will be a Regent Drive pedestrian underpass and a $63 million “multi-purpose community and dining center.” The center will contain new dining, parking and offices for student services that are currently being offered at Willard.
The center will be located east of the Regent Administrative Center, on what is now parking lot 327.
“The community center will be a great addition to the campus, but it shouldn’t be put before academic building,” said Carlisle, who was one of two regents who voted against the community center in a nine-person vote.
The university hopes that the center will attract top-notch teachers and researchers as well as keep them in Boulder.
With the new building located across Regent Drive from the Kittredge complex, students will have yet another excuse to use the crosswalk that is located at the intersection on Regent Drive near Fiske Planetarium. As part of the new construction plan, a Regent Drive pedestrian underpass will replace the current crosswalk.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea as long as it’s well lit for the young ladies walking through,” Cherice Engel, 20, a junior studying business, said. “It will also free up the traffic for the cars passing through because they won’t have to sit and wait for the pedestrians.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Chelsea Holland at firstname.lastname@example.org