Photo: DU’s student Driscoll Center, constructed in the mid-eighties, will be redesigned to better accommodate current student needs.
As part of DU’s Impact 2025 strategic plan, the University will invest $140 million dollars over the next three years on campus capital projects according to the recently released Building for the Future. As we mentioned before, the University is focusing on designing and building community spaces on campus to drive the community to the University of Denver campus and keep students on campus.
As announced, at the first of these meetings on Thursday, May 11, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp detailed the three critical projects called The Denver Advantage aimed directly at addressing the most pressing student needs:
- First, a ‘reimagined’ Community Commons, where students, faculty, and staff can interact and collaborate. Basically, this is redoing the current William T. Driscoll student Center which is very chopped up with few spaces for larger community and student meetings and engagement. The University is hosting sessions with students for input on the newly redesigned facility features. The sky bridge over Evans Avenue will remain.
- Second, a new residence hall for first-year, undergraduate students. This will include more spaces for dining and socializing in a cluster model that creates family-style communities from year one. Again, housing is expensive and tight in the University area. An additional dorm is intended to alleviate the housing shortfall while generating more student engagement on campus.
- Third, a Career Achievement and Global Alumni Center where students can meet with top employers and connect with a network of 140,000 alumni around the globe. The current Leo Block Alumni Center is outdated, cramped, and does not have appropriate space for alumni events or student career counseling and development. Bringing this under one roof in a modern facility is a great idea.
The greater effort which will take much longer is the ‘University District’ which is part of the 2025 plan. The idea is to integrate the local university neighborhoods, retail, and the University of Denver more closely to drive activity, collaboration, and engagement. Currently, the University is conducting surveys to determine what people want in a University District.