Ground breaking launches new era of growth at

(07-17-2009)

Architect's sketch: The Residences at Rex

About 100 campus and community members celebrated as Adams State College broke ground July 9 on the first new residence hall to be built on campus in more than 40 years.

The Board of Trustees for Adams State College digs in to break ground for the campus' first new residence hall in over 40 years.

"This ceremony symbolizes a new beginning for ASC's north campus," said President David Svaldi. "It will be transformed into a center for student life that is inviting, comfortable, and green: green both for the ASC colors, as well as for utilizing green and efficient energy."

The centerpiece of the current $22 million construction project is the Residences at Rex: a four-story complex that will include 16 four-bedroom student apartments, as well as a new stadium facility. Renovation on Coronado Hall (housing) began simultaneously; a new parking lot west of Neilsen Library will be completed this fall.

All new buildings will incorporate energy efficient design, according to Erik van de Boogaard Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning, Design & Construction. The college is exploring development of solar and geothermal energy sources. An intense energy audit of the entire campus is also underway that will result in a more sustainable campus.

"This project is a huge step forward for our college. Our dream has finally come true," said student trustee Robin Pryor, who joined fellow trustees in tossing the first shovelfuls of soil to initiate the project. She was active in gaining student approval of a new fee to support campus improvement, and participated on the Campus Renewal and Planning committee, which has been to fleshing out plans for the last year.

"Some upperclassmen actually want to move back to campus just to move into the new building. A lot of the underclassmen and incoming students - their faces just light up with excitement when you tell them we're getting new dorms," Pryor said.

"Over the last dozen years, we focused on our academic buildings on the southern portion of campus: a new science and mathematics building, a new theatre, and renovated facilities for art and business," Svaldi said. "Students told us it is time to similarly upgrade the north campus, where they spend most of their time. They overwhelmingly approved a new fee to make that happen. The fee will also finance substantial renovation of existing student housing and the ES and Music buildings. This will be the most ambitious building endeavor on our campus in nearly 50 years: between $40-50 million worth of improvement over the next five years.

The fee was proposed in response to continued cuts in state funding. "We must cultivate alternate revenue. We can increase tuition income by recruiting and retaining more students - creating a more appealing campus is part of that strategy," Svaldi said.

More information and construction diagrams are available on the Construction News website.

By Julie Waechter