Architectural plans for the University Center for Arts was endorsed by a unanimous vote by the Board of Governors of the CSU System Wednesday, despite objections to the design from the Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board.
The Board of Governors, the governing board for CSU, the University of Southern Colorado and Fort Lewis College, met in Pueblo on Wednesday to review the plans for the concert hall and discuss other matters.
The new concert hall called for the renovation and remodeling of the old Fort Collins High School, now part of CSU. The Planning and Zoning Board rejected the administration’s plans to build the concert hall on the west side of the gymnasium because the plan obscured the fa/ade of the gym’s 1920s-era design.
While the gym would be obscured, the architectural and building materials were designed to be consistent with the original 1924 facility.
Other objections arose from the community concerning the design. As a cherished community landmark, many residents were afraid of changing the highly recognizable building.
CSU considered many options and tried to be sensitive to the concerns of the community, said Tom Milligan, director of communications and marketing at CSU.
Under state law, public entities are asked to coordinate with each other, but in this case the Board of Governors had the final authority on all decisions related to the university. After today’s approval by the board, CSU now has the right to move forward with its plans.
“I think the board endorsed the university position of placing it on the west side of Fort Collins High School because the sight is programmatically, economically and architecturally the best way to proceed,” Milligan said.
He also said that having the Board of Governors endorse the university really showed that they care what is best for students. Having it in this location is the best way to make sure the center could achieve its goals and give education to students, Milligan said.
Other big news at the meeting included the final farewell to Fort Lewis College as they officially left the group of colleges governed by the Board of Governors.
This was in response to Fort Lewis getting approval to be independent from the CSU system during the last legislative session. With Fort Lewis gone, only CSU and the University of Southern Colorado are left under the Board of Governors. USC will officially change its name to CSU- Pueblo on July 1, 2003.
For Fort Lewis, it was a time to say goodbye and good luck, Milligan said.
Other important and interesting news addressed at the meeting.
* The Colorado Commission on Higher Education, or CCHE, recently asked CSU to consider and maximize the participation of private sectors in the financing of a new residence hall planned for Fall 2004. CCHE has final say on all public universities and colleges in Colorado. The hall is expected to house 700 more beds and be located on a 4.7-acre site immediately south of Edwards Hall. A measure to approve more private funding was approved by the board.
* ASCSU President David Bower discussed student and community safety. ASCSU partnered with the Downtown Bar Owners and Poudre Valley Health Systems with hopes of coming up with solutions to reduce issues of drunk driving in the community. ASCSU will be conducting surveys in the downtown area to discover the best ways to reduce drunk driving among residents on Friday and Saturday nights.
* Linda Kuk, the vice president for Student Affairs, is teaming up with ASCSU to create a committee that would review student organization policies and procedures. This is in response to concerns that have arisen about the equity of funding processes in place of student organizations and the fairness of student-run judicial boards.
* CSU President Albert C. Yates told the board about CSU expertise on the West Nile Virus and the drought as well as other recognitions at CSU. Expert advice on West Nile can be found at www.agnews.colostate.edu. Drought information can be found at www.drought.colostate.edu
* Construction Management at CSU is the largest in the nation, with 630 students, including the largest number of women graduates.