CU unveils 10-year master plan for campus construction and renovation projects

The University of Colorado today released a draft of the master plan for campus construction and renovation projects in the next ten years.

According to the Commission on Higher Education, CU is already running a space deficit, and university leaders expect Boulder campus enrollment to increase by around 9.4 percent in the coming decade.

Old Main Bldg, CU-Boulder (Flickr: Treyerice)

As the main campus approaches maximum capacity, with few remaining building sites left to develop, the new master plan focuses mostly on renovation projects and developing science and research buildings on east campus.

The master plan this year, in contrast to the campus construction craze of the past ten years, will focus more on renovations in building systems that will increase energy efficiency and safety.

On and off-campus student housing and aging academic buildings on campus will receive the majority of the upgrades and renovations.

CU’s sustainability director Moe Tabrizi says that the university has already made significant strides by ensuring all newly constructed buildings are LEED Certified. The next step he says is to build near net zero buildings, which, through strict efficiency measures, would mean the buildings consume very little energy from the grid and produce their own energy through solar panels or other means.

The university also will try to facilitate alternative transportation on campus by separating modes of transport. Some areas of campus will be designated for bikes and skateboards, with separate paths dedicated to pedestrians.

While some building projects have secured federal research funding, other building projects will require state funding, which may not be available.

Development of a new geosciences laboratory on east campus and an aerospace and energy systems addition onto the engineering center are contingent upon receiving 60 percent funding from the state, according to CU’s capital programs administrator, Robin Suitts.

With Gov. Hickenlooper’s budget proposal set to cut $36 million from the state’s higher education funds, according to Suitts, funding from the state will not likely be available in upcoming years.

View the master plan.

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