Construction update: VAPA infrastructure begins

Feb. 23, 2015

Jonathan Toman
[email protected]

It might be called “One Diamond” now.

The Visual and Performing Arts and North Nevada Infrastructure projects are in full swing. Phase one of the project is expected to finish in 2017.

The new 76,000 square foot, $56 million building will house a 750 seat main theater, a 250 seat recital hall, a 250 seat Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, a 100 seat Osborne Theater and GOCA.

These major performance venues are part of phase one, while phase two, concerning inside elements such as classrooms and faculty spaces will be completed after. That date has not been determined.

The needed infrastructure for the building is in progress.

The new parking lots, round-about and Spine and Eagle Rock roads are scheduled for completion Aug. 15. While the building will not be completed in August, starting that date, shuttle service from Four Diamonds to main campus will no longer travel on Austin Bluffs.

The route will follow Eagle Rock road up to campus.

As part of those developments, three of the four diamonds at Four Diamonds have been removed, and the construction won’t stop there.

The next three weeks will see the project planners work toward 100 percent construction document completion as well as review those documents with organizations such as Colorado Springs Utilities, the Colorado Springs Fire Department and City Traffic Engineering.

Wastewater and utility approval, design and installation will be the focus.

“We’re kind of at a point right now where we need to get these designs approved, so the construction piece itself will kind of slow down,” said project manager Brad Johnson. Johnson replaced Stan Rovira as project manager for the VAPA building.

The existing Four Diamonds lot will serve as the footprint for the new VAPA building. Mountain Lion Stadium and Mountain Lion Field will remain in place.

Over 550 parking stalls will be created once parking lot construction is complete, an increase from the current number.

“We’re wiping out a parking lot to put a building, wiping out fields to get parking,” said campus architect Carolyn Fox. “We’re putting something in place that’s going to benefit the students.”

Eagle Rock, the road that goes through the neighborhood from Four Diamonds to Alpine Village, will be rerouted to make a smoother connection with Nevada.

“It’s going to be interfaced with the existing intersection but it’s going to be more of a gentle curve back into the neighborhood,” said Johnson.

The new Spine Road will run north-south from the new round-about on the west side of Mountain Lion Stadium to serve as the primary connection to the VAPA building. The road will run perpendicular to Eagle Rock.

The goal of the project is to centralize the various VAPA pursuits on campus, which are currently spread over several buildings.

“[Centralizing VAPA] does a lot,” said Fox. “Right now, we’re scattered, we’re all over the campus.”

The current work will allow for further planned expansion on Nevada.

“[This is] essentially the buildout for the visual and performing arts center, and basically from that infrastructure we can connect further to the north for our future stadium project, track and field project,” said Johnson.