New facilities to support DU IMPACT 2025
May 1, 2017
For many years the University of Denver has faced significant needs in student housing, community facilities and adequate career services space. Thanks to all who participated in and helped shape DU IMPACT 2025, those needs have been transformed into opportunities to serve our students, expand One DU and improve our reputation as a student-centered research university.
We are pleased to report that on Friday, April 21, the Board of Trustees approved initiating the design and construction of the new facilities described below and using a bond offering to fund most of the cost of these buildings. In addition to the bond proceeds, fundraising, room and board revenues and other sources will also help fund these facilities. We believe these initiatives are foundational to key elements of DU IMPACT 2025.
Community Commons (a re-imagined Driscoll Student Center)
A new Community Commons will provide space designed for collaboration and for meeting peers and colleagues from across campus. Expanded dining options will meet the changing needs of our students, faculty and staff while supporting a stronger sense of community. A bright and modernized space will be designed around students’ and our community’s needs.
The Community Commons will allow socializing, organizing and fostering the kinds of interactions that represent One DU and support programming that supports the holistic student experience at the heart of the strategic plan.
First-Year Residence Hall
DU does not currently meet the existing demand for on-campus housing and our own live-on requirement for the first two years of undergraduate education. A new residence hall for first-year, first-time students will provide space designed in a “cluster” model to support robust programming and help students launch a successful college career. This will also increase our ability to house more juniors and seniors, who are increasingly asking to live on campus to be better connected to the campus community and because rising Denver rents are becoming less tenable. In connection with the campus master plan looking forward, we expect to address calls for more affordable housing for graduate students, as well as faculty and staff who wish to live closer to campus.
Career Achievement Center
DU IMPACT 2025 calls on the University to prepare students for lives and careers of achievement and purpose. Our existing Career Services space is too small and too hidden—and this important resource is not used by nearly as many students and alumni as we would like. We want to help students prepare for career achievement throughout their time at DU—and connect them with our network of over 135,000 alumni living around the globe, as well as employers in Denver and beyond, and believe a new facility will help make this possible.
As we implement the strategic plan, we will have other projects, programs and people to fund and support. We are already planning for a comprehensive fundraising campaign that will focus primarily on scholarships and financial support for students—including meeting all demonstrated financial need for undergraduate students and reducing student debt for graduate students—and also support faculty, research, teaching, athletics and more. As we move forward in campaign planning, we will determine, with prudence and creative approaches to financing, what other facilities might need to be prioritized.
Please join us Thursday, May 11, from 1:30-3:00 p.m., in Anderson Academic Commons Room 290 (Special Events Room), for a forum in which we will discuss these projects in depth—including the University's plan to fund these projects, how they fit into the broader picture of DU IMPACT 2025 and how the community can be involved in their development. We will also discuss preliminary timelines for these projects, as well as our commitment to ensuring that sustainability remains a factor in the design, construction and operation of these facilities.
This is an exciting moment for DU IMPACT 2025 and the University as a whole, and we believe these projects will create real momentum for our bold and innovative strategic plan. We hope you will attend the forum on May 11 to learn more and engage in this process. For those of you who cannot attend, we will share additional information about the projects by email and will ensure multiple opportunities for engagement throughout the design process.
Doug Scrivner, Chair, Board of Trustees
Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor