As more and more construction projects pop up around campus, it is hard not to wonder what our campus will look like over the coming years. While the renovation of Tutt Library is the most obvious change to the school, Colorado College’s campus will receive numerous facelifts in compliance with the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
The Strategic Plan, or Building on the Block, is the overall vision for the college. The most recent plan was approved in 2013. The Master Plan, a 121-page document, is a subset of Building on the Block. This Master Plan includes the physical plan for the college campus. One aspect of this plan, the new hockey rink, has moved up in priority after a generous $8 million donation from CC alum Edward J. Robinson ’54. The new hockey rink, which will be named after its primary donor, will replace the CC Inn, situated between Nevada Avenue and Cache La Poudre Street. Furthermore, Honnen Ice Arena is currently the least energy-efficient building on campus. The new ice rink will be constructed using sustainable building practices and materials.
Some students were hesitant about the demolition of the CC Inn, especially due to recent housing shortages on campus. The CC Inn offers a special type of living situation for students that is not emulated in dorms like Slocum or Mathias. Junior Sawyer Finley said, “I just think that if they accommodate living with the same sized rooms and like a little bit of a transition to off-campus like the Inn is, then it’s not a big deal at all. [The Inn] is halfway between living off campus and living in a dorm.” While housing shortages are always a concern, the construction of the new residence building on the east side of campus will add 154 beds. Furthermore, the CC Inn was never meant to be a long-term housing solution in the Master Plan. The new residence building will consist of house-like buildings along with apartments or brownstones that will hopefully mirror and improve upon the CC Inn experience.
President Jill Tiefenthaler said, “the CC Inn won’t come down until the fall of ‘18. And so that will still house students next year. By the following year we’re estimating that we’ll have several new cottages for students. So we think between the cottages and the new 154 beds we’ll be in good shape for the ‘18-19 academic year.”
Furthermore, the Master Plan includes plans to renovate the cottages that currently sit on the East side of campus. According to the Master Plan, “Several of these cottages have been renovated and the rest are in varying stages of disrepair.” The renovation of these cottages provides a transition to the neighborhood surrounding the CC campus and is determined as a medium-term goal within the Strategic Plan.
Another recent donation to the Strategic Plan has also given higher priority to the new Innovation Institute that will be built on campus on the corner of Uintah and Cascade. This $8.5 million donation was given to CC by an anonymous donor. Innovation programs at CC have been developing over the past couple of years with programs such as the Big Idea and Innovation Thursdays. With the momentum from this donation, CC is closer to creating a new Innovation Center on campus, to replace the current home for innovation at CC in the Morreale Carriage House.
President Tiefenthaler said, “Innovation is a huge part of our DNA at CC. The strategic planning process is both looking at our alums and what they’re doing in the real world and also what our students are interested in, [and identifying that] there is this sort of really creative, out of the box, funky, innovative group of people [at CC].”
This innovative DNA that our community embodies will be able to grow and expand in this new Innovation Center. The center intends to include an Innovator-in-Residence program, a media lab, and a commercial kitchen. Students will also have the opportunity to work with alum, faculty, and parents.
While buildings like the new ice rink and the Innovation Center have not yet begun construction, our campus is already beginning to change. Some of the completed initiatives included the launch of the Butler Center, the recently developed Journalist-in-Residence Program, and the development of more free Block Break programs. However, CC has a long way to go in completing its Strategic Plan. Current construction projects include the Tutt Library Renovation and the new apartments on the east side of campus.