A referendum regarding funding the construction of the first building in the Metro State Neighborhood through a student bond fee is on this spring’s Student Government Assembly ballot.
Students are being asked to vote online April 13-17 on whether they approve adding a fee that will be assessed based on the number of credit hours they are taking and that will increase incrementally each year. If approved, the fee will be the primary funding for what is being called the Student Success Building. The building is slated to be constructed within the 8.5 acres adjacent to Auraria Parkway and bordered by 7th, 9th and Larimer streets that is to become the Metro State Neighborhood per the Auraria Campus Master Plan. It will sit where the Tivoli Lot now is.
“For now, we’re calling it the Student Success Building because in the end, that’s the whole reason for it,” says President Stephen Jordan. "We'll have more space for classrooms that are technologically advanced. And the building will house the First Year Success Program, which provides support to first-year students so that they can make a successful transition into college and move into their sophomore year, thereby increasing our retention rates. Higher retention can only help us on our journey to become the country's preeminent public urban bacalaureate institution.
"In fact, all of our student support services will be housed there in one convenient location. Recent site visits to the City University of New York have taught us that having one center where all student services are located is a best practice.
"All together, these experiences will enhance the learning experience for our students and strengthen their opportunity for success.”
Jordan adds that he believes the new building is an investment that will pay great dividends for the College’s visibility and reputation and can only add to the value of a Metro State degree.
To minimize the overall impact for all Metro State students, regardless of how many or how few credit hours a student is taking, the fee will be assessed up to 12 credit hours and will rise incrementally each year starting in 2010 at $5.25 per credit hour; 2011, $12.10 per credit hour; and 2012, 19.80 per credit hour.
The four-story Student Success Building will have 143,000 square feet and include a central quad, pathways, courtyards and gathering areas. According to Metro State facilities planner Sean Nesbitt, student input will help assure that the building’s design will reflect their needs. It will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified and built using sustainable methods that will reduce its carbon footprint.
The building will house all of the College’s student services including the Offices of the Registrar, Financial Aid, Student Academic Success, New Student Orientation and other critical support services. This will create convenient “one-stop shopping” for students, Nesbitt says. . Finally, many administrative services including the Offices of the President and the Vice Presidents will be consolidated in the new building, freeing up more than 50,000 square feet of backfill space for classrooms and faculty offices.
“Auraria currently has about a 1 million square-foot shortfall,” says Nesbitt. “That’s why we have trailers and crammed classrooms.”
According to Nesbitt, the current estimated cost of the building and backfill renovation is $62 million: $52 million for the building and $10 million to convert the freed-up space to classrooms and faculty offices. Once the design has begun, it will be completed in less than three years.
The Metro State Neighborhood and the Student Success Building has elicited grassroots support from a notable student. Former SGA President Aaron “Jack” Wiley, a senior political science major, is 100 percent behind the Metro State Neighborhood and the Student Success Building and believes that students need to know the facts in order to cast an informed vote.
Wylie is blogging on the Metro State is Rising home page (http://metrostaterising.com/), a site developed to be an umbrella for information about the Student Success Building and other future capital projects such as the Hotel Learning Center, which is a proposed operating hotel and learning facility for Metro State hospitality, tourism and events management students.
In his first blog entry on March 30 Wylie writes, “It’s nice to know that there is a plan to update the campus, modernize the way services are provided to students, and to create a home for Metro State (beginning with the Student Success Building). It’s also nice to be helping spread the word about Metro’s proposal to raise the money to make the first investment in Metro’s future.”
To listen to a podcast featuring Wylie and recent graduate and former student trustee Kevin Harris talking with Associate Professor of Speech and Theatre David Kottenstette, go to
For a photo gallery and a map of the building’s location, go to http://metrostaterising.com/photos/147/.
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