By Cliff Foster
The Community College of Denver’s striking new at building at 7th and Curtis streets had a mouthful of a name—Student Learning and Engagement Building—and an unfortunate acronym: SLEB.
So CCD officials got to thinking about a more relaxed, less institutional moniker for their signature building and the other four that make up the CCD neighborhood.
“We wanted to do something historical, something of significance to the Auraria campus,” says Margo Aldrich, CCD’s director of community development. “We explored all kinds of options.”
One option emerged as a winner: naming the buildings after creeks that flowed through Auraria before it was settled or are tributaries of the South Platte River. The Student Learning and Engagement Building will be named “Confluence,” the South Classroom Building will become “Cherry Creek,” the Technology Building will be “Boulder Creek,” St. Francis will be “Clear Creek,” and “Bear Creek” will be the new name for the Children’s College.
“It seemed universally appealing and…it just kind of suited us,” Aldrich says. “It’s in support of the CCD neighborhood…Instead of the institutional-sounding names, we wanted names that sounded like they went together.”
With the approval of the Auraria Board, the name changes will be phased in between now and summer. For a while, CCD will refer to the buildings with their new and their old names; thus South Classroom becomes, initially, Cherry Creek (South) and the Technology Building will be called Boulder Creek (Tech) during the transition.
Aldrich knows there will be some confusion in the short term, but says the communication effort should help.
“It won’t eliminate it all,” she says. “But we want to eliminate as much as we can.”
The neighborhood concept is part of the Auraria Higher Education Center’s strategic plan designed to allow maximum growth and create individual identities for the three institutions. The concept divides the campus into four distinct areas or neighborhoods, one for each school and an area for shared resources. The CCD neighborhood borders West Colfax Avenue and includes building sites on 7th Street.
MSU Denver’s neighborhood includes all of the building sites along Auraria Parkway, which stretches from the new Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center to beyond the Student Success Building, and then down 5th Street to the new athletic fields under development south of the West Colfax Avenue viaduct, adjacent to Shoshone Street, east of I-25.
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