UCCS celebrates new engineering building after experiencing delays

A snip of a ribbon marked the official opening of the new Anschutz Engineering Center on April 18.

The new building will accommodate the aerospace engineering major added in 2022 and house classes in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and game design. The new 23,000-square-foot facility has state-of-the-art lab spaces and classrooms.

“Aerospace is a key industry in Colorado, and the state has the second-largest aerospace economy in the nation,” said Michael Corl, the interim dean for the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

According to Corl, the ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in February, but it was rescheduled to allow the CU Board of Regents to attend.

“Having the Board of Regents present for the ribbon cutting underscores the value of additional engineering facilities to the CU System and to the mission of UCCS in providing a highly educated technical workforce,” Corl said.

The opening of the building to the public also had to be rescheduled. The building was originally scheduled to open Jan. 16 for classes to use during the spring semester, but it was unable to open for use until March due to construction delays.

Associate Vice Chancellor of Campus Planning and Facilities Management Mark Ferguson said the decision to reschedule the opening was made with students in mind.

“Once we got close to that date, it was really on our minds that we wanted to make sure it was ready for students. We didn’t want to have construction going on in the building while students were utilizing it,” he said.

According to Ferguson, the need to relocate utilities consumed a lot of time early in the construction process.

Corl said construction was also affected by materials being delayed and weather conditions that prevented concrete pours.

Classes that were initially planned to be held in the new building had to be temporarily relocated until the building was ready for use. When the building opened for use in March, those classes were allowed to relocate inside the building.

“Faculty are moving into the building and utilizing the teaching spaces as their schedules allow. We anticipate final move-ins at the end of the semester and through the summer,” Corl said.

The new engineering center was built alongside the Engineering and Prototyping Center, a building outfitted with advanced fabrication equipment and garage bays for electric vehicles.

While Ferguson said construction is complete on this building, there is still equipment that needs to be set up. He estimated it will be open for students in early May.

According to Corl, the final cost of construction for both buildings was $23 million, which was funded by a dispersal of funds from the CU Office of the President and also several donors like the Anschutz Foundation.

With construction completed on the two new engineering buildings, Ferguson said the next major construction project on campus will be to renovate the Engineering and Applied Science building. Goals for the renovation include bringing the building up to code, refurbishing the elevator, adding gender neutral bathrooms and utilizing the space more efficiently.

Chancellor Jennifer Sobanet speaks at the Anschutz Engineering Center ribbon cutting. Photo by Lillian Davis.