Mar 092004
Authors: Joanna Larez

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

lunch hour.

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

Overland Trail.

“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

Facilities Management.

The Biological Safety Level Three building, City Water Treatment

Facility and a private ditch company are also near the Atmospheric

Science Building.

“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

this system.

“Security is of first importance,” Desch said. “But we recognize

that people work there and need to get out and get fresh air.”

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