Increased security is making life a little more difficult for
professors and students who live and work near the CSU Foothills
After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington,
D.C., people are no longer allowed to walk, jog or ride their
bicycles freely on the Foothills Campus, said Bill Cotton, a
professor of atmospheric science. Foothills Campus is located west
of Overland Trail.
“Since 9-11, fences sprouted out,” Cotton said. “In the last six
months (security) has gotten worse.”
CSU leases out property on the Foothills Campus to federal labs,
including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
National Wildlife Research Center.
These federal labs hired private security guards after Sept. 11.
The security guards patrol the area and detour any non-federal
employees away from the fenced areas.
The CDC has a liaison with the Fort Collins Police Services, and
it has correspondents with FBI agents in Denver, in addition to the
fences and security guards. Security guards enforce security
procedures that include employee identification. The security
guards are entrusted to use discretion on anything or anyone that
might be suspicious, said Jennifer Marcone, media affairs
representative for the CDC.
Security guards frequently stop Cotton, who teaches in the
Atmospheric Science Building, when he is exercising during his
He stays outside the fenced areas but said he is still
After awhile, some security guards became familiar with Cotton,
he said. Sometimes they will wave and stop and talk, without
inquiring about identification.
Cotton has been told that the security guards have recently been
instructed to stop any unauthorized people, even if they know that
the people are CSU employees or students.
Cotton is upset about the loss of freedom and potential danger
facing commuters. There are no bike trails along Laporte Avenue or
“How are we protecting most of Fort Collins citizens? There is
security at the CDC, but will more people get hurt biking on the
roads in unsafe conditions?” said Christopher Rozoff, an
atmospheric science student working on his Ph.D.
The Foothills Campus security, less strict in the past, is now
getting tighter due to the number of high security facilities on
the property, said John Desch, a general professional V with
The Biological Safety Level Three building, City Water Treatment
Facility and a private ditch company are also near the Atmospheric
“Twenty-nine years ago there wasn’t anything out here,” Cotton
said. “We could run anywhere we wanted with no problem.”
Cotton has been corresponding with CSU Facilities Management,
the CSU Police Department, the city of Fort Collins and people in
the federal labs about the problems brought by the tightened
Cotton has asked people in the CDC and the NWRC if they would
allow their security guards to acknowledge CSU IDs as verification
for being in that area of campus.
“The feds are okay with it,” Cotton said. “The problem is with
CSU, because they don’t want to commit to it and have something
Cotton has been told that the NWRC has no problems with his
proposal. The CDC has also been accepting of the proposal, as long
as CSU is mutually accepting. There are not any official
acceptances of the proposal, and CSU has not yet come to a
“We are exploring the idea in certain areas,” Desch said.
For those who ride their bicycles to campus, Laporte Avenue is
supposed to be widened by the end of this summer, and there will be
bicycle trails along the road. There are also plans for Overland
Trail to be widened and have accompanying bicycle trails, but this
project’s completion date is unknown, Desch said.
The nearest bus stop is located on the corner of Laporte and
Overland, which leaves commuters one and one-half miles away from
the Atmospheric Science Building.
“We are left with the option of driving,” Rozoff said.
Students will no longer be able to cut through campus on their
bicycles, Desch said. Off-road paths will be closed off.
“It’s sad to see (the natural paths) taken away,” Rozoff
The reconstruction of Horsetooth Dam has lead to a new trail
system along the dam. Desch said joggers will be encouraged to use
“Security is of first importance,” Desch said. “But we recognize
that people work there and need to get out and get fresh air.”