Regents Finance Committee gives initial OK to four CU Boulder construction projects

By Staff

The Regents Finance Committee last week advanced plans for four construction-related projects at CU Boulder for consideration by the full Board of Regents at its Nov. 7-8 meeting at UCCS.

The committee voted in favor of the proposals during the Oct. 11 meeting held via Zoom. The items will be included on the consent agenda at the November board meeting.

Chris Ewing, vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability at CU Boulder, presented information on the structural restoration of Old Main, equipment replacement at the West District Energy Plant, construction of the new Residence One student housing building, and a video board upgrade at Folsom Field.

The $14.3 million project at Old Main, CU’s first campus building, will repair and restore critical exterior and structural elements, and includes window and door restoration that will improve energy efficiency. It’s slated to begin in early 2024 and be completed in spring 2025.

The West District Energy Plant provides heat and cooling to most of the main campus and provides backup power when needed for the main and research campuses. The $43.1 million project includes the replacement of steam and power-generating equipment, addressing emissions compliance and generating cleaner power than can be currently purchased from the grid. The project is scheduled to begin in January 2024 and be completed in summer 2025.

Scheduled to open in fall 2026, the 129,000-square-foot Residence One will address a lack of housing for upper-level students. The 325- to 350-bed structure, to be located just north of the main campus, will have LEED Gold certification for energy efficiency. Total project cost is $124.4 million.

The outdated video board on the south end of Folsom Field will be replaced by one that’s 117-by-40 feet, about equal to the national peer average. The $16.3 million project will begin after the close of the current football season, with a goal of completion by the first home football game in fall 2024.

The committee also received an update on higher education construction projects that will be considered for state funding next year. Kori Donaldson, assistant vice president for budget, planning and capital, presented the list of capital construction projects as prioritized by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, which makes recommendations to the governor’s office ahead of its November budget proposal.

CU projects on the 28-item list are the Guggenheim Geography Building renovation at CU Boulder (ranked No. 4), Macky Auditorium renovation at CU Boulder (16), the Strauss Health Sciences Library renovation at CU Anschutz (21) and CU Boulder’s Economics Building renovation (28). Also on the list, at No. 19, is the Auraria Campus Safety Center, serving CU Denver and the two other Auraria Higher Education Center institutions.

Last week’s meeting of the Regents Finance Committee also featured Richard Wobbekind and Brian Lewandowski from the CU Boulder Leeds School of Business presenting a preliminary draft of the new CU economic impact study. Read more here.

The committee also heard an informational session on CU’s investment strategy, including how University Treasury is committed to sustainability, and a summary of ways CU promotes sustainability across the system.

The next Regents Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2024.