By Chris Casey | University Communications
DENVER—What would you like to see on the CU Denver campus by 2024?
In the coming weeks you'll have the chance to chime in about the campus's future facilities, parking, housing, walk and bike paths, safety, recreation, and expansion and programmatic opportunities.
After completing the initial stages of the CU Denver Campus Facilities Master Plan—including an in-depth inventory of the university and a space utilization and needs analysis—the process reaches a key phase: envisioning what the campus should be 10 years from now. The Office of Institutional Planning, led by Chief Planning Officer Michael Del Giudice, is reaching out to stakeholders across CU Denver—students, faculty, staff and alumni—to collect input during this important phase.
Open forums will soon take place to gather feedback and ideas. Also, at the beginning of spring term, an online survey will be sent to all CU Denver students, faculty and staff. The information will be compiled into the Campus Facilities Master Plan, the first-ever comprehensive master plan created specifically for CU Denver and consistent with Colorado Department of Higher Education planning guidelines, Del Giudice said. Previous campus planning has been integrated into wider Auraria Higher Education Center planning efforts.
The new Student Commons Building, the first structure on the Auraria Campus devoted solely to CU Denver students, has created campuswide excitement and bolstered CU Denver's identity as a leading urban research university. "The students have a sense that they're proud of where they go to school ... They're proud to be in the city — they like the vibrant urban core," Del Giudice said. "It's beginning to take shape. The Student Commons Building has become a game-changer."
He noted that the CU Denver student government has initiated the proposal to build a campus wellness center as well as supported a study into renovations of the North Classroom atrium. "They want to be part of shaping the campus and having a legacy and feeling like they belong," Del Giudice said, referring to input the OIP has already received during inventory and space analysis phase. "It's amazing how active and engaged they are, and we've had great faculty input."
The master plan will include long-term plans for the Liniger Building at CU South Denver as well, since CU Denver and CU Anschutz have taken the lead on administering the recently acquired facility in Douglas County.
A preliminary draft of CU Denver's first comprehensive master plan says the final document will deliver a holistic vision for the university, aligned with its mission, strategic plan and student success. "It will build upon our abundant successes, strengths and enthusiasm to establish a long-range development framework that will help the university create a stronger, more vibrant and dynamic community with the 'City as our Campus,'" the draft says.
The draft master plan includes continuing to create a distinct "neighborhood" for CU Denver on the northwest side of the Auraria Campus. Opportunities identified in the draft plan include defining and branding the neighborhood heart and edges; extending the urban character from downtown to campus; and extending green space from campus to downtown.
When broad-based consensus is reached on the campus vision for 2024—following another round of stakeholder forums in January and February—the final report will go to the Board of Regents next spring for approval and then to the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
"We look at this as an opportunity to let the Board of Regents know exactly what we’re all about,” Del Giudice said.