The grand opening of the CSU Transit Center drew key people from the city and university to a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication on Wednesday morning.
Huddled in winter coats and drinking hot chocolate, dozens of people gathered in a tent set up near the transit center, located north of the Lory Student Center, to honor vital participants in the recent completion of the transportation project’s first phase: the construction of bus benches and shelters, bus pullouts, signage, site lighting, pedestrian walkways, bicycle pathways, parking and landscaping.
Members of the CSU band, led by conductor Jarrod Schleiger, began the festivities by playing several songs while people mingled over fruit, cookies and hot chocolate provided by the LSC catering service.
Ron Phillips, Fort Collins’ transportation director, introduced the speakers who would take the podium after him. They included Mayor Ray Martinez and several other prominent members of the community.
“We’re delighted to be finished with this phase of the CSU Transit Center,” Phillips said before introducing Diane Jones, the deputy city manager.
Jones explained the transit center resulted from a “cooperative project” between the city, CSU and the Federal Transit Administration.
The total project, Jones said, is estimated to cost $11.5 million, with an 80 percent FTA capital grant funding.
Speaking next, Mayor Martinez provided background on the project, pointing out that the transportation plan will offer better service for CSU’s 25,000 students. He also noted the project has a second phase, which the group will begin immediately.
“Phase two of the Transit Center will be the construction of a terminal building that will include retail spaces and some customer service areas,” Martinez said.
Phase two will include this indoor facility, construction of the bus terminal building and final landscaping.
Jamie Moyer, the Transfort marketing director, said she thought the best part about the project was seeing CSU, the city and FTA working together.
Most of the speakers seemed to agree with her. Another speaker, Tony Frank, vice president of research and technology at CSU, mentioned the university feels proud to partner with the city on this project.
David Bower, president of the Associated Students of CSU, spoke last.
“It’s projects like this that really make a difference on a campus,” Bower insisted, adding that he looks forward to helping students make the most of the transit center.
The speakers kept their speeches short, some of them saying they did not want the audience to freeze in the cold.
After the speeches honoring vital players in the Transit Center construction, Mayor Martinez, Bower and Sen. Stan Matsunaka cut a red ribbon tied between two green posts to signify the center’s grand opening.
Edited by Colleen Buhrer and Shandra Jordan