CSU starts work on second building of complex on the National Western Center grounds

Work started Monday on the second of three buildings that will form a complex being constructed by Colorado State University on the National Western Center grounds in Denver.

Construction on the first building, to be named Vida, Spanish for “life,” began in early May and will showcase CSU’s veterinary program, equine sports medicine and connections to human health. The second building will focus on food and agriculture.

Work on a third building, which will focus on water, is scheduled to get underway in October. Altogether, the buildings will be branded “Spur” and will be a key part of the more than $1 billion makeover and expansion of the National Western Stock Show site.

Completion of the first building is expected by February 2022 and completion of the second is expected in April 2022.

Spur will bring together and highlight the assets of the CSU system, including the Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses, said Jocelyn Hittle, senior director of Denver programs and sustainability.

“It will showcase all of our CSU system work across all our different campuses,” Hittle said. “But it’s also different in that it’s focused on public engagement.”

Hittle said the goal is to make members of the public feel comfortable walking in the door and to provide education as well as a place for gatherings, from small meetings to large conferences.

“It will, of course, include teaching and research, as the backbone of what CSU does, and also be a great place for us to partner with industries and organizations and other people who are in Denver,” Hittle said.

The building that will focus on food and agriculture will highlight urban agriculture. Hittle said CSU researchers will try to connect what they’re working on to the urban food system. There will be a teaching kitchen and laboratories for testing soil and water where people can bring in samples to be analyzed.

All the buildings will give the public a look at some of the research in action, as in the Vida building where people will be able to watch veterinarians work with horses. The Denver Dumb Friends League will have a low-cost clinic on site.

The total cost of the capital construction for the Spur complex is $200 million in state funding approved by the Colorado General Assembly in 2015. No student fees or funds are being used.

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