Groundbreaking on new student residence halls set for April


UCCS New Residence Halls
Construction of two new residence halls begins with a 2 p.m. groundbreaking April 23 and is scheduled for completion in time for an August 2013 opening. Estimated cost of the project is $17.5 million.

According to Susan Szpyrka, associate vice chancellor for administration and finance, residence hall towers named Copper and Echo will join the ski-resort themed buildings that now make up Summit Village at UCCS. Current building names are Monarch, Keystone, Breckenridge, Telluride, Vail, Steamboat, Aspen and the Lodge.

The new buildings will be located south of Aspen House and the pedestrian spine, toward the west and close to the roundabout, Szpyrka said.

Copper and Echo will provide 192 beds to serve an increasing population of resident students. She said Summit Village currently has 597 beds and a conversion of floor lounges this year increases the capacity to 615 beds. A project converting large, single-room configurations to double-occupancy rooms will increase beds available to 630 by August this year.

Although interior designs are still in the working stages, much of the interior of the new halls will mirror existing halls. Rooms will be single occupancy, three-person suites and four-person suites.

Many people will wonder how $17 million worth of construction can be scheduled when state funding is so limited. University administrators, including Szpyrka, want to be clear that state funds are not involved and taxpayers are not footing the bill.

“These buildings receive no general fund or tax revenues,” she said. “The buildings are bonded and rents paid by student occupants cover the annual bond payment, utilities and other operating expense.”

Photo by Jeff Foster