In an ideal world, Iâ€™d have the chance to speak to all 27,000 CSU students personally. Instead, Iâ€™ll use this column to personally invite each of you to attend this yearâ€™s State of the City event on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. at the Lincoln Center.
Before you declare that youâ€™d rather stay at home studying than attend a â€œboring city event,â€ let me explain why I think this night is important and, dare I say, exciting for students!
First, the obvious: Colorado State University students are an important and influential part of the Fort Collins community. From basketball games to concerts, volunteer efforts to neighborhood programs, students contribute to the vibrancy and creativity that has become synonymous with Fort Collins. The State of the City is a celebration of our entire community; itâ€™s a celebration of your contributions.
Yet weâ€™re not content to rest on our past accomplishments. As a community, weâ€™re actively investing in our future. For example, we have spent the past year making major investments. The new Museum of Discovery, the renovations to the Lincoln Center, the significant improvements to the Interstate 25/Highway 392 Interchange, the conversion to advanced metering, and most notably, the Mason Corridor â€” the biggest public works project in Fort Collins history â€” all contribute to making Fort Collins a better place.
Moving into 2012, weâ€™ll continue our pursuit of a world-class community and many of these initiatives will have a direct impact on you as students.
For example, through a partnership between ASCSU and the city, weâ€™ll pilot a late-night bus service. Starting Feb. 3, Transfortâ€™s new green and gold routes will run Friday and Saturday between the hours of 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. for $1 per ride.
Weâ€™re also working with the administration at CSU to address the need for additional student housing. Together with input from students, longtime residents and developers, weâ€™re identifying strategies to encourage and provide an adequate supply of quality student housing while maintaining neighborhood quality and compatibility.
Finally, this is the year that MAX construction will really be noticeable. MAX is the bus rapid transit system that is at the heart of the Mason Corridor project; think of it as a light rail system that uses buses instead of trains. MAX will run parallel to Mason Street and provide frequent, high speed, north-south transit service from Downtown to just south of Harmony Road. When complete, it will run straight through campus giving those living off campus an easy way to get to class.
Building this system is a huge undertaking. This year youâ€™ll see road closures, MAX station construction, and other activity as we work toward launching the service in 2014.
As you can see, we have much to be proud of and exciting work ahead. The State of the City is an opportunity to celebrate our community and your contributions to our success. Itâ€™s a chance to reaffirm Fort Collins as one of the nationâ€™s best places to live, work, study and play. Itâ€™s an opportunity to commit to continued work toward a bright future. I hope to see you there.