CONSTRUCTION ON CU DENVER BUILDING
The North Classroom on Auraria Campus has been under construction for the past few months.
The $33 million renovation will continue at least through Fall 2017 and possibly even until Spring 2018. The Sentry spoke with Cary Weatherford, the Associate Director of the Office of Institutional Planning for CU Denver, and discussed some of the changes that are planned for the North Classroom over the next year and a half.
The renovation project consists of four different parts, each with a distinct set of goals. The first part is a complete renovation of 34 classrooms in the building, including an increase in the amount of space available in each room. This accounts for about a third of the classrooms used by CU Denver.
The result will flatten some tiered lecture halls, upgrade the technology, and improve the overall classroom aesthetic. This is welcome news to any student who has taken a course in the North Classroom; the windowless, crowded rooms can make anyone claustrophobic. “I mean, we have VCRs in some of these classrooms,” Weatherford said. “We want to bring the technology up to the 21st century.”
The second and third parts of the project consist of upgrading common areas such as bathrooms and hallways, and making some changes to specific departmental areas. The goal of the common area improvements are to “make it a more visually appealing building,” according to Weatherford. Three different departments will be undergoing renovations in their areas: the Physics, Psychology, and Geography and Environmental Sciences departments.
The last piece of the renovation includes replacing many of the mechanical pieces of the building, like rooftop units and electrical transformers. “Because this building is so old, much of the mechanical and electrical equipment in the building is very old,” Weatherford said. The North Classroom was built in 1987 and—besides general routine maintenance—has not undergone improvement over the last 30 years.
Students will continue to see some negative effects during the construction on the North Classroom. Currently, the walkway on the north side of the building—facing the Student Commons building—is completely blocked off, forcing students to reroute their paths to class every day. The classrooms will be shut down sectionally during the repairs, and classes that usually take place in these areas will be moved to other rooms during renovations.
After the North Classroom is completed, it will have an all-new look and will host only CU Denver classes. Metro and CCD classes will most likely not be held in the building anymore, as CU Denver negotiated its allocation of classroom space with the other two institutions and took over the North Classroom building.
By the time improvements to the North Classroom building are complete, students will have access to the new perks. “The goal of all this is to make the building more efficient and more comfortable,” Weatherford said. “I’m confident what we are going to come out of this with is going to be really exciting and transformative.”
For now students will have to deal with the inconveniences of construction, but the building’s makeover will hopefully be worth it in the end.
Photo: Sarai Nissan