City Heights CU Denver Set to Open this Fall

New campus building to house students and campus offices.

Construction on City Heights began in late 2019.
Photo: Alice Mach • The Sentry

Over the last few months, while most students attended class from the cabin-fever comforts of home, yet another new building sprouted on Auraria Campus. Situated in between the Tivoli Student Union and the CU Student Commons Building, City Heights will serve as a residence hall and center of learning services for students at CU Denver.   

Although construction has not yet finished, the university expects the building to be open and ready for use in August before the fall 2021 semester. Many of the offices that have been located in the Student Commons Building and elsewhere will be moving into City Heights, including the Learning Resources Center, the Math Lab, the Writing Center, Peer-Advocate Leaders (PALs), First-Year Experiences, Student Life, and more. Additionally, the building will also allow students to use study spaces and tutoring rooms.  

As a multi-purpose building, City Heights will have different wings to separate the living spaces from the Learning Commons. With over 500 beds, this new residence hall marks a shift in CU Denver to welcoming students to live in the middle of Auraria Campus. First and second-year students will enjoy the central location near classroom buildings and the Lola & Rob Salazar Wellness Center, as well as the proximity to Larimer Street and downtown Denver. City Heights will almost double the number of students currently living at Lynx Crossing, the only CU Denver residence hall until now, and will include a dining hall in the same wing of the building. 

When it eventually opens later this summer, the university intends to transition Lynx Crossing to more upper division and graduate students, while the incoming class of 2025 will begin living at City Heights next semester. In total, the new building has an estimated cost of about $78 million, primarily funded by “debt backed by revenue that will be generated from housing and dining operations” according to the CU Denver website. One interesting feature of the architecture will be a green roof above the Learning Commons wing. Around the residence tower will be a courtyard for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy the outdoor spaces.  

CU Denver also plans to renovate Lynx Crossing with updated furnishings, appliances, and flooring, as well as various upgrades to security and spaces like the lobby and courtyard. Costing about $9 million of reserve funds, neither of these projects will use student fees for funding. While the new building will serve as the center of CU Denver student learning, the Student Commons building will continue to house important offices like the Center for Identity & Inclusion, TRiO Student Support Services, Disability Resources and Services, Financial Aid, Lynx Center, and more.   

In the last few years, the north side of Auraria Campus has almost completely changed with construction of the Student Commons Building and the Student Wellness Center. With the addition of City Heights, CU Denver only continues to grow up. 

This is a selection from the April 28 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

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