Faculty, staff and students gathered Friday with state and local officials and other well wishers to dedicate the addition to the Auraria Science Building. Located directly west of Speer Boulevard, the four-story, 197,000 square-feet structure houses new classrooms, labs and office space for UC Denver as well as our partners Metropolitan State College and Community College of Denver. It is connected to the existing Science Building which now will undergo renovation and upgrades to further extend facilities for science education on the Auraria Campus.
“This project has been much more than building a building,” noted Barb Weiske, interim executive vice president for Administration, Auraria Higher Education Center, as she welcomed the crowd. She also reminded everyone of the persistence and partnership it took to secure funding and to complete the project.
That theme was echoed by each speaker including Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter who thanked the “Auraria Campus leaders who have a vision for higher education in the state.” He also acknowledged the important contributions of faculty who teach the sciences.
State Treasure Cary Kennedy described the Science Building project as “a model for the nation in teaching math and science.” Within Colorado, Kennedy sees the funding challenges that were encountered in the Auraria project as a symbol of the difficulties delaying many education projects that are not getting done around the state.
UC Denver Chancellor Jerry Wartgow reminded those on hand that the celebration was possible “because of the hard work of a lot of the people here today.” He specifically recognized University of Colorado President Bruce Benson and recalled their work together on behalf of the Auraria Campus when they served together on the Auraria Board of Trustees and the effort it took to realize the original Science Building. In the spirit of long-term partnerships, Wartgow said, “we’ll work hard to share the full impact of what this building will do for our schools and students.”
Students are getting to inaugurate the new space as classes begin Monday.
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Photo: From left, Gov. Bill Ritter, Tami Door, Downtown Denver Partnership, Steve Jordan, Metro State, Chancellor Jerry Wartgow and Barbara Weiske cut the ribbon.