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New residence hall rendering
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


​General

 What is the construction project happening across from the Student Commons Building? Where is it exactly?

It is CU Denver’s First-Year Student Housing Project, a 182,000 gross square foot, 555 bed, first-year student residential building with dining and campus services. The project includes two connected building components: a six to seven-story residential tower and a three-story Learning Commons—the future home to student life services and faculty development services.

The project area lies on the existing CU Denver recreation field, bordered by 11th and 12th Streets and Larimer and Walnut Streets.

1

 How long is the project expected to last?

The recreation field will be fenced off for construction beginning Dec. 17, 2019. The building will open August 2021 in time to welcome our class of 2025 first-year students.

2

 Why is CU Denver constructing this new building and at this location?

The 2017 CU Denver Facilities Master Plan explored the demand for on-campus housing and found that there was demand for more beds than the 722 offered currently at Campus Village—CU Denver’s sole residential housing facility.

Some students who responded to a housing survey expressed a desire for a residential college experience. Others shared concerns about rising rents in Denver driving them farther away from campus. In addition, studies have shown that students who live on campus stay in school at a higher percentage, perform better, and feel more connected to their institution, faculty, and fellow students.

For our first-year housing facility, it was important to select a location that was located within the CU Denver neighborhood on the Auraria Campus and was close to services, amenities and classrooms in the Student Commons Building, Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center, Tivoli Student Union and North Classroom.

The site selected was the only one that met these criteria and was large enough to accommodate the number of beds necessary to meet student housing demand. The location also supports the university’s goal of activating Larimer Street to create a more cohesive, welcoming campus community experience.

3

 How will the new building improve student life services, specifically student housing?

The First-Year Student Housing Project will provide a modern, safe, and affordable residential experience coupled with learning programs for first-year students within the CU Denver neighborhood. Currently first-year students seeking a residential option live in Campus Village, located on the west side of Auraria Campus. The Campus Village location and floorplan unit mix are more conducive to upper division and graduate student living.

The new residential tower and its dining facilities are anticipated to be a hub of social activity for students. All CU Denver students will have access to dining offerings, as will faculty and staff. The Learning Commons will provide close proximity to student life services by bringing together critical student support and development services into one, easily accessible location.

4

 How much will the project cost and how will it be funded?

The project is estimated to cost between $76 million and $78 million and will be funded predominantly from debt backed by revenue that will be generated from housing and dining operations. The university is providing some funding from cash reserves for the Learning Commons.

No student fees will be used to fund this project.

5

 When will the building open?

The building will open August 2021 in time to welcome our class of 2025 first-year students.

6

 Is the building designed with sustainable building practices in mind?

The project is pursuing a LEED Gold rating and includes a green roof on the Learning Commons.

7

 What is the size of the new building?

CU Denver’s First-Year Student Housing Project is 182,000 gross square feet. The project includes two connected building components: a six to seven-story residential tower and a three-story Learning Commons—the future home to student life services and faculty development services. There is space for 555 first-year students to live within the residential tower.

8

 Will there be new outdoor common space created with the First-Year Student Housing Project?

Yes. The area between and around the residential tower and the Learning Commons will include an open-air courtyard and seating areas for students, faculty, and staff to gather.

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Residence halls

 How many residence halls does CU Denver have today?

The university currently operates Campus Village located on the west side of Auraria Campus.

1

 Why build another on-campus student residence hall?

While Campus Village is ideal housing for upper division and graduate students, the location and unit layouts are not ideal for first-year students who are new to CU Denver.

The First-Year Student Housing Project is designed specifically for first-year students. Studies show that students who live on campus during their first year are more likely to stay in school and graduate, partly because of the community they find during their residential experience.

Adding more beds to CU Denver’s residential inventory will provide more students, regardless of year, the opportunity for an on-campus residential experience at a time when housing prices are driving students farther away from the campus. Finally, the university conducted three separate demand studies among students and found that there is demand for additional beds on campus.

2

 Which students will be able to live in the new residential tower? How many?

The residential tower will accommodate 555 first-year students, about one-quarter of our incoming class.

3

 How much will it cost to live in the new residential tower?

Housing charges have yet to be finalized, however, CU Denver is committed to creating an affordable option for students in the metro Denver rental market.

4

 Will there be new parking available with the new residential tower?

There will not be dedicated parking available within or directly adjacent to the residential tower or Learning Commons. There is, however, on-street metered parking around the building site. The university is having discussions about offering long-term parking on the lot adjacent to Campus Village, which is approximately a ten-minute walk from the residential tower.

Public transportation options are available to encourage car-free living. The RTD CollegePass is available to CU Denver students, which provides unlimited access on RTD bus and light rail lines, including trips to and from the airport. There are two light rail stops on campus, as well as bus service, scooter access, and rideshare.

5

 Is Campus Village being renovated? What does this entail?

Yes. CU Denver is committed to creating an on-campus living-learning experience to meet the evolving needs of our students. 

Students can expect new and updated interior suite features including replacement furnishings, kitchen appliances, carpeting and flooring, and updates to existing amenities and common areas. This will include a rehab of the courtyard area, refresh of the lobby area, upgraded Wi-Fi access, updates to classroom IT, a new door access system, and upgraded security camera system and elevator.​​

6

 How much will the Campus Village renovation cost and how will it be funded?

Over $8.6 million in Campus Village upgrades and investments are planned and will be covered by existing reserve funds. ​

No student fees will be used to fund this project.​

7

 Will Campus Village be closed at any time during the project?

Going forward our goal is to not close down Campus Village completely for any length of time. The project will require us to close down suites for specific periods of time to facilitate the interior suite refresh and will be completed in phases.​​

8

 When will the Campus Village renovation be complete?

It will be complete within the next three years. ​

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Learning Commons: student and faculty services building

 What services will be available in the Learning Commons?

General tutoring services and focused tutoring services in math and writing will be offered, including peer-to-peer tutoring for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students.

The Peer Advocate Leaders (PALs) will offer mentoring services, and newly enrolled students and first-year students will have access to support services through New Student Orientation and First-Year Experiences. Parent and Family Program support will also be available in the Learning Commons.

Student Life, which supports student government and student clubs and organizations, will also be in the building. For faculty, services in faculty development, teaching and learning, and online course development will be available.

1

 Which university departments will move into the Learning Commons?

2

 How did the university decide which departments will move into the Learning Commons?

The departments selected all share two common threads. First, they support the growth and development of CU Denver students and faculty. Second, they are departments that are visited frequently by students and faculty and would benefit greatly from being in a prominent, central, and accessible campus location.

3

 Once the identified departments move into their new Learning Commons space, what will happen to the space they vacated?

In all of the vacated areas, opportunities will be created for other departments.

In the Tivoli Student Union, the Student Government Association will move into the space vacated by Student Life.

Vacated space in the Student Commons Building will be reprogrammed as part of a separate design effort intended to improve the student experience.

Vacated space in North Classroom will be repurposed to meet the significant needs of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

4

 How does the Learning Commons impact overall student and faculty services space on campus?

The Learning Commons continues the theme established with the Student Commons Building to locate high-traffic student services in close proximity to one another in a central campus location. This new facility will be the hub for student and faculty growth and development services. Along with the Student Commons Building, the two buildings will house most of the services students and faculty need on a regular basis. 

The Student Commons Building will continue to house the transactional and student support services below:

  • Bursar’s Office
  • Center for Identity and Inclusion
  • Center for Undergraduate Exploration and Advising
  • Disability Resources and Services
  • Financial Aid
  • Lynx Center
  • Registrar’s Office
  • TRiO Student Support Services
  • Undergraduate Admissions
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Project impact

 What will happen to the trees lining 12th Street?

The project team studied various options and, unfortunately, the trees along 12th Street will need to be removed. The university will replace these trees by planting at least the same number of trees elsewhere on campus. In addition, CU Denver will partner with The Park People, a local nonprofit, to plant twice the number of removed trees from 12th Street in various low-tree canopy neighborhoods throughout the Denver community.

1

 Will the First-Year Student Housing Project use the entirety of the current recreation field?

The residential tower, Learning Commons, open-air courtyard, and a service alley will take up approximately three-fifths of the recreation field.

2

 Will there still be a recreation field area?

At the conclusion of the project, the contractor will reinstall sod on the remaining portion of the field. That area will be used for wellness and recreation activities, club sports and intramural practices, and campus events.

3

 Where will the club sports and intramural teams who use the recreation field practice and compete in the meantime?

Plans are being formulated to ensure both club sports and intramural teams can hold their practices and games off campus at nearby Denver Public Schools fields and Denver Parks and Recreation parks and open spaces. We will notify the teams as soon as plans are solidified.

4

 Are students concerned about the loss of the recreation field?

We recognize that students, faculty, and staff all value the open space and recreational areas on campus. The new construction will include a designed and landscaped open-air courtyard with seating areas for students, faculty, and staff to gather.

We are also working with Denver Public Schools and Denver Parks and Recreation to ensure our club sports and intramural teams have locations nearby to continue to practice and compete. 

5

 Will the construction project change my driving routes or commute to campus?

There will likely be periodic disruptions to the roads within the campus, particularly on 11th and 12th Streets and Larimer and Walnut Streets.

The primary construction site entrance gate is at the corner of Walnut and 11th Streets. The secondary construction site entrance gate is at the corner of Larimer and 12th Streets.

Disruption updates will be communicated through CU Denver News and Student Success Campus Happenings e-newsletters and campus social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.

6

 Will the construction project disrupt walking routes or parking on campus?

Yes. Sidewalks on 11th and 12th Streets which border the project area will be closed the duration of the project. 

Sidewalks on Larimer and Walnut Streets will remain open as will metered parking on Walnut and 11th Streets.

For reference, the project area lies on the existing CU Denver recreation field, bordered by 11th and 12th Streets and Larimer and Walnut Streets.

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Disclaimer: Design is an iterative process and all images shown are representative of the design progress at a specific moment in time. The final design will continue to evolve and may vary from the images shown.