CU System to Close and Sell South Denver Facilities 

CU South Denver campus closes after just five years of operation.
Photo Courtesy of CU South Denver

Many students probably aren’t aware, but there is a small section of the campus that will be closed permanently within the next year. In a decision released on Sept.17, the University of Colorado system announced it will be shutting down and selling its Douglas County-based sector of the campus. The property was gifted to CU five years ago, marking the facility’s half-decade-long service to the community. 

The message put out by CU clarified that it “remains committed to serving individuals and businesses in the thriving south metro Denver area.” However, Todd Saliman, Senior Vice President for  Strategy and Government Relations, remarked in the campus-wide message that the subsidies being granted by the university were becoming “unsustainable.” After what CU leadership referred to as doing their “due diligence,” they determined that the South Denver campus was not financially viable.  

The university will be in contact with the Office of the State Architect’s Real Estate Programs and intends to issue a request for proposal to secure brokerage of the property. Potential buyers should expect more news to come from the university. CU recognizes that the property’s “uniqueness” makes the projection of a potential date and sale terms difficult to determine at this juncture.

The student body of less than 500 people will be allowed to continue their programs through Aug. 2021. Faculty seem to have been going through the process of being consolidated.  

According to an article from, there are other Denver-based colleges looking at selling properties. Specifically, Johnson & Wales University is looking to sell its Denver campus that is located in the South Park Hill neighborhood and will be halting its operations by next summer. Johnson & Wales is a private university that is based out of Providence, Rhode Island; however, the university holds property in Charlotte, North Carolina and North Miami as well.   

An article in The Wall Street Journal, that was written in August, notes that there are a plethora of campuses across the United States that are being forced into either a temporary, or complete closure. Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee are the states experiencing the most closures, but there have also been college closures in states like Illinois, and now, Colorado.  

There are several reasons that contribute to these types of closures: lack of state funding, improper management of the COVID-19 pandemic (either on the part of the state or the school), the record-high costs of college and education, the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is, for many students, the cost of college, especially in the time of Coronavirus, has become a decision where they must weigh their checkbook against their education.  

“Essentially, it was not financially sustainable, even before COVID,” said Ken McCollengue, the university’s Vice President of Communications. “It was losing a significant amount of money and had been since we were given the facility in 2015.” 

Although the situation is in no way unique to the CU system, the closure of the Lone Tree location is an unexpected result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Students have already been opting for online classes whenever possible and local businesses have moved towards training their own employees, as opposed to sending them to the South Denver campus. 

All of this said, the Auraria Campus should expect to see some new faces around following the return to in-person classes. 

This is a selection of the Oct. 07 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

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