By Marissa Isgreen
Eastern Slope Correspondent
FORT COLLINS-Construction State University, it’s (un)fondly called. Plagued with orange cones, blocked roads, and temporarily closed buildings, Colorado State University has come under some serious criticism from students and faculty regarding the ongoing and constant construction in recent years.
“I imagine they were saying the same thing in 1965,” said Fred Haberecht assistant director of landscape and planning with CSU’s Facilities Management. “We haven’t seen an investment in campus like this, a major building boom, in 50 years.”
CSU hasn’t seen a major building boom in many years, in part, because it hasn’t had the same needs that it does today.
According to CSU, enrollment has seen significant growth. In 1970, the student population was at 17,000. Today, that has grown by 59 percent, and more than 27,000 students now attend the University.
The other factor, Haberecht explained, is that things would get more complicated if projects were put off. Build housing later? Students would be turned away. Wait to build a new academic building? It would cost more. Parking? Well, the sooner the better.
“If you were to walk onto any other campus of this size, you’d would see this too,” Haberecht said. “We had a pretty significant period where not much was built. We’re doing a little bit of catch up.”
According to Haberecht, CSU has invested $700 million in work in the last seven years, and it plans to invest about the same amount in the next three years on new buildings, major renovations, new parking options, and of course the on-campus stadium.
The 644,132 square-foot, multi-use stadium comes with a $220 million price tag. Slated to open in time for the 2017 football season, the facility will also host other university sports, campus and community events, and entertainment, CSU says.
The good news for parents and students? No student facility fees are going toward the stadium. Instead, it will be funded by donor gifts and bonds.
“I believe we can attain a CSU-owned and operated facility with minimal changes to the full scope of the original design that meets the fiscal standard we’ve established: the lowest risk of any negative impact on the general fund,” President Tony Frank told CSU’s Board of Governors at their meeting in December 2014. Frank’s comments were quoted in CSU’s SOURCE. “Such a facility is, in my opinion, in the best long-term interests of Colorado State University.”
Haberecht agrees, and believes an on-campus stadium is a positive thing that fits into the setting he envisions for CSU in the future.
“In 15 years, I see [CSU] as a campus that’s larger and more urban. It has more students, more bikes, and more alternative transportation,” Haberecht said. “But it will still have the same character, and the same great relationship with Fort Collins.”
And that is the goal for CSU’s administration: helping the university grow and adapt to the times while continuing to be an affordable option and the number one choice for in-state students.
“CSU and Fort Collins are a very desirable place to live and go to school,” Haberecht said. “The work we’re doing now will allow us to continue that legacy.”