An artist's rendering of the University of Colorado's planned $84.4 million student hub and dining hall on Regent Drive in the center of campus.
An artist’s rendering of the University of Colorado’s planned $84.4 million student hub and dining hall on Regent Drive in the center of campus.

BOULDER, Colo. –

An office for University of Colorado students with disabilities is housed in an aged dorm that isn’t in compliance with handicap-accessibility codes.

A cramped office in the environmental studies building doesn’t necessarily offer a welcome mat for international students, some say. And prospective employers looking to hire CU graduates are hosted in the basement of a dorm.

The planned Center for Community building — an $84.4 million, 323,000-square-foot student hub and dining hall to be built in the center of campus — will help students feel more at home on the large campus, and bring several scattered offices under one roof, campus leaders say.

CU student body president Dustin Farivar said the building will help integrate student services.

“Our success as students depends on how well we are able to access these services,” he said.

The university will hold a town hall meeting Friday to give faculty, staff and people affected by construction a chance to learn about the building and the programs and offices it will house. A previous meeting was held for students.

The building will be a key feature on campus, so the university wants suggestions from the community, said Julie Wong, vice chancellor for student affairs.

Excavation of the site will begin this spring, and the building is scheduled to open in September 2010. It will be on Regent Drive, adjacent to Hallett Hall and the Leeds School of Business, where a 250-spot parking lot now sits.

The building’s plans, which were approved by the regents in 2007, initially drew criticism from the board, with some members concerned about the size and cost.

CU leaders at the time said the building would be efficient, since cafeteria renovations could cost the university more over time than construction of the new dining hall, which will be able to serve up to 900 people. The project will be fully funded through auxiliary revenues, which means it will be paid for by fees such as room and board, permit and visitor parking fees.

Career, psychological, international education, disability, and victim’s assistance will be among the services housed in the new building.

Lisa Severy, director of Career Services, said the office hosts several corporations, government agencies and nonprofits that are looking to hire CU graduates. She said employees of the career office are excited to be in a more accessible and newer building that brings student offices together, and has an in-house dining hall where students can have lunch with prospective employers.

“The fact is, right now we are doing that in the basement of an old dorm,” Severy said. “We feel like our services to our guests are great, but we should have a better location.”

Archived comments

“The project will be fully funded through auxiliary revenues, which means it will be paid for by fees such as room and board, permit and visitor parking fees”

An $84 Million dollar project will be fully funded with from small and not predictable fees?

I am not necessarily against the project, but some transparency and honesty on how it will ultimately be paid for (e.g., significant student fee hikes) would be a respectful way to present it to students and state taxpayers.

slehan@aupairint.com

3/18/2009 9:06:53 PM

“CU student body president Dustin Farivar said the building will help integrate student services. Our success as students depends on how well we are able to access these services, he said.”

An honest pitch would be: “this would be really nice to have on campus, but it is not critical to our academic success as students.”

slehan@aupairint.com

3/18/2009 9:08:52 PM

More spending for the sake of spending.We really need taxpayer and student-fee-payer riots on the streets.

This blatant theft to advance bureaucratic careers is absolutely disgusting.

NukesInBoulder

3/18/2009 9:23:18 PM

Nukes, you’ve fully mastered the art of spouting off indignantly while saying absolutely nothing.Please, entertain us all by failing to explain the following:

– Which part of this is funded by taxes.

– How this building project is theft, and the manner in which said theft is blatant.

– Your interpretation of “spending for the sake of spending,” and how this situation applies to that definition.

– How it will advance bureaucratic careers, specifically, which bureaucrats and the way in which their careers will advance.

Or, you can just call me names…whichever you feel you’re better at.May I suggest combining the following words, which I think about match your capacity to process complex social/political concepts:

Corporate

Government

Fat Cat

Leech

Sycophant

Lemming

Dr_Belfrey

3/18/2009 10:18:16 PM

Slehan et all.

Student fees are almost $900 per semester (if I recall correctly).That comes to approximately $1800 a year per student. The student body numbers well over 20,000. That is more than $36 million dollars of reliable income a year. Having said that, most if not all, of that money is managed by the student government – which has a capital construction committee which oversees these projects.

No one is stealing, no taxes are used.In fact, only 6% of CU’s entire budget comes from taxes.So please stop complaining about your precious tax money. As a state institution, CU ranks one of the lowest state-funded schools in the country. Out-of-state students, their parents, and banks are primarily responsible for CU’s budget.

wewantfun

3/18/2009 10:46:40 PM

I don’t think you properly read my post.

slehan@aupairint.com

3/18/2009 11:11:03 PM

Yes I did. Yet, I was also addressing other posts.If I were to have addressed you in specific, I might have added that the fees are predictable, they do not require raising, and anyone can attend a UCSU Legislative Council meeting to see where these fees are going. So your complaints are unjustified.

wewantfun

3/18/2009 11:37:32 PM

Another puff piece by the Camera.

Not long ago, major renovations and additions were made to the UMC for the very same reasons stated in this story.

CU must be flush with cash to build this structure which is the size of six football fields.

Only the construction costs were stated.No mention of the significant financing costs and ongoing operations and maintenance of the 323,000 sq ft building. Nor was any mention made of how the contracts were awarded for the $84 million.

JQP

3/19/2009 1:15:43 AM

“..a welcome mat for international students”

Getting ready for the Illegals already.

Elwood

3/19/2009 1:19:02 AM

Although a useful exercise to compare predictable revenues vs. building cost, most student fees are already spoken for, including for the Rec Center, which is also considering an expansion!However, the biggie in the University’s enumeration of revenue is room & board.Obviously room is provided otherwise.It’s the board part.Huge.But I don’t get that CU will close all the cafeterias in favor of this.So …There is revenue.But the story doesn’t tell the whole story.

klmarkey@comcast.net

3/19/2009 2:19:26 AM

Can we call it the Alferd Packer Building please?

tplboulder@yahoo.com

3/19/2009 2:45:37 AM

Save the lawn.

The University used to have more places to play.This is one of few left.This project will cover the lawn between Coors Event center and Leeds.

teddy@peakpeak.com

3/19/2009 5:27:49 AM

No, Teddy, it will cover a parking lot, this little gem is right in the story:

“It will be on Regent Drive, adjacent to Hallett Hall and the Leeds School of Business, where a 250-spot parking lot now sits.”

and the lost parking will be replaced by parking under the building in a basement parking arrangement…

It is always helpful to read the story, which I know is sometimes hard with the DC’s writing, before getting your knickers in a knot.

What_Happened

3/19/2009 6:30:19 AM

The land in the middle of campus is way too prime real estate to be wasted on parking lots!Build and bury the parking underneath.I hope they put in extra parking spaces so the fat cats at Regents Hall won’t have to walk too far!

tplboulder@yahoo.com

3/19/2009 7:42:04 AM

Sounds an awful lot like the UMC to me…

coloradoninja

3/19/2009 10:07:38 AM

The parking garage is under the building and a there is a small public lot that will be west of the building.The parking goes up from 250 to 425 spaces, which will increase revenue.Parking rates will also go up across the systems which will likely promote alternative modes.

The dining center is paid for by closing down two old dining centers, Kittredge and Cheyenne Arapaho and combining their staffs.The bulk of the revenue comes from converting office space in Willard and Hallett halls back into bed space and increasing the number of students housed.There will be very little room and board increase due to this project.

The Student Affairs portion will be from solicited donors.There is no student fee associated with this project.There is no state tax dollars associated in the construction of this building.

springfield_rifles

3/19/2009 10:20:54 AM

The amount that students pay in fees is ridiculous! $1800 + a year is the deciding factor for many people for being able to go to school or not!

Will fees be going up because of this? if so, how much will they increase?

How many students will use these facilities on a daily basis?

BoulderMath

3/19/2009 10:51:09 AM

“Posted by BoulderMath on March 19, 2009 at 10:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The amount that students pay in fees is ridiculous! $1800 + a year is the deciding factor for many people for being able to go to school or not!

Will fees be going up because of this? if so, how much will they increase?

How many students will use these facilities on a daily basis?”

There are no student fees associated with this project.Student fees will not go up at all.

The dining center expects to serve 2900 students per meal.This does not include retail and grab & go outlets.The Student Affairs portion of the building will likely see around 1000 student per day, with peak periods at the start and end of semesters.Every student, faculty and staff on campus will use this building in some capacity during their time at the university.

springfield_rifles

3/19/2009 11:13:59 AM

I understand that there will be some incremental revenue streams from a few extra parking spaces, a few dorm rooms, and some (possible) incremental food and bev sales.

My point is that it would be appear to be much, much less than the amount needed to support an $84 MILLION dollar building.

Either there is some key information about the incremental revenue that has not been communicated, or there will be major costs to students and/or the State for this project which will be (quietly) announced long after the cement has been poured for this building.

slehan@aupairint.com

3/19/2009 12:21:35 PM

Well, Slehan, your impression is wrong.

springfield_rifles

3/19/2009 1:12:44 PM

springfield_rifles,

Can you point us to a detailed financial analysis of projected costs and revenues that will justify your rosy optimistic statements?

I find it interesting that CU is always crying that it is short of cash and must raise tuition and cut back faculty and staff, while at the same time the university has virtually unlimited funds for constructing this huge costly building of marginal benefit to students.

It’s unfortunate the CU Daily is no longer an independent newspaper and does not do the investigative reporting it was once known for.There’s a story there about how the university is used to generate profits for a small well-connected group of architects and construction firms.

JQP

3/19/2009 3:29:40 PM