Feb 102004
Authors: Taylour Nelson

File under news/campus

CSU’s proposed 10-year Physical Development Plan, a rolling outline and budget for the development of buildings on campus, includes parking improvements and residence hall rebuilding.

The proposal includes eight new parking structures located on campus, rebuilding Newsom and Ellis residence halls and further development of the newly relocated University Center for the Arts.

The University Center for the Arts project is the top priority for the 2004 PDP. Estimated to cost $4.92 million, the Bohemian Foundation donated the money in May 2003 to renovate the old Fort Collins High School and create a new concert hall, along with further building additions.

John Desch, campus planner for Facilities Management, said the plan aims to make campus more pedestrian-friendly, emphasizing the “pedestrian court,” from the Engineering Building to Lake Street.

To try to minimize the number of cars in the pedestrian court, “we’ll keep the parking (structures) at the perimeter of the pedestrian court, so the people will park there and walk into campus,” Desch said. “We plan to increase the density of parking to encourage people to park on the outside and walk in.”

Aaron Roberts, a second-year graduate student studying in rangeland and ecology science, viewed the proposed development plan on Tuesday afternoon at the Lory Student Center and thought the new parking structures are unnecessary.

“(At CSU) I’ve never had to park more than three blocks from campus. It seems unnecessary,” he said.

Roberts attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate, where students could not park on campus or in a two-mile radius around campus.

But Nancy Hurt, manager of planning and data information services at Facilities Management, said more parking is necessary on campus because residents in surrounding neighborhoods have complained about the lack of accessibility to their own parking spaces because of the high number of students who park in the way.

“The residents who live off campus and the people who visit them cannot find parking during the day,” she said.

Newsom and Ellis halls are considered “the two worst buildings in terms of condition and student preferences,” Desch said. These two residence halls are given priority and as the new residence hall located on Pitkin Street opens, Ellis and Newsom can begin the process of being demolished and rebuilt, Desch said.

“Housing is getting old, so over time, we want to redevelop it to higher densities,” Desch said. “Fifty percent more beds, for example, than what is at the site right now.”

He said the goal is to create a village of buildings conducive to social interaction.

The estimated cost for the prioritized projects is $455 million, with $53 million currently being funded. Problems with state budgets will not affect funding these proposed developments, Desch said.

“That doesn’t really slow us down, there’s a lot of money coming from private foundations, and money is still available from donors and federal grants,” he said.

The PDP will be presented to the Board of Governors of the CSU System in May and then to the Colorado Department of Higher Education in June.

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