CSU: RE-ENVISIONING NATIONAL WESTERN CENTER

CSU: RE-ENVISIONING NATIONAL WESTERN CENTER

by Tiana Nelson

UNIVERSITY EXPERTISE AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATIVE PROJECT

The planned National Western Center will change the face of North Denver and establish Colorado as a nexus for food innovation and Western heritage – with Colorado State University as a major partner.

The redevelopment of the current National Western Stock Show site will expand the focus and footprint of the complex significantly. The 250-acre, $1.1 billion project will convert the historic site into a year-round destination for entertainment, research, and educational opportunities, and agricultural business innovation and incubation.

“CSU’s role in this project is one that brings the University’s expertise to the forefront and serves our land-grant mission,” says Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “As a leader within the National Western Center project, CSU has the opportunity to shape the future of this site, education throughout Colorado, and research and innovation around some of our greatest global issues.”

The century-long connection between CSU and the National Western Stock Show, coupled with the University’s expertise in agriculture, energy, and human, animal, and environmental health, created a natural fit for reimagining the Stock Show grounds.

CSU has worked since 2013, alongside the city and county of Denver, Western Stock Show Association, History Colorado, and Denver Museum of Nature & Science, to plan the site’s transformation as part of Mayor Michael Hancock’s effort to create a Corridor of Opportunity connecting downtown with Denver International Airport.

The master plan, developed with public involvement and adopted by Denver City Council in March 2015, accommodates the annual National Western Stock Show while providing diverse activity opportunities every day of the year.

LEADING THE CHARGE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

CSU is sharing expertise with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to help meet aggressive regeneration goals for the National Western Center, including net-zero energy and waste, using “One Water” principles; net-neutral or -positive impact on the South Platte River; creating educational infrastructure, buildings, and exteriors; and promoting health and connection to community.

“We have a tremendous amount of talent related to sustainability, and I can’t think of many better opportunities to apply, showcase, and develop CSU’s research and programs on the subject,” says Josie Plaut, associate director of the University’s Institute for the Built Environment. “I have no doubt that engaging the hearts and minds of CSU will result in better outcomes for the project, and meaningful research and learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.”

While the build-out timeline of the National Western Center is yet to be determined, city and county staff are working on land acquisitions, railroad consolidation, and additions to the program management team to implement the master plan.

CSU’s focus is determining programming opportunities, coordinating internally with faculty and staff, and developing partnerships with external groups around food systems, water, energy, the environment, and health, all within the context of arts, culture, and economic development.

CSU BUILDINGS AT NWC

The Colorado Legislature has provided $250 million in funding for capital expenses related to the National Western Center: $200 million for three CSU buildings on the site and $50 million for buildings providing supporting resources on the Fort Collins campus.

CSU WATER RESOURCES CENTER

■ Partnership between CSU
and Denver Water
■ Innovation/incubation space
■ Research and teaching labs
■ Workforce development
■ Auditorium
■ Restaurant/café

CSU BUILDING FOCUSED ON EQUINE OUTREACH

■ Facility for equine sports medicine, community
outreach, and equine-assisted therapies
■ K-12 educational facilities and programs
■ Equine sports medicine onsite treatment for
equine athletes
■ Equine-assisted therapy through the Temple
Grandin Equine Center
■ PetAid small-animal community outreach clinic

CSU CENTER

■ K-12 food systems exploration center
■ Performing and visual arts space
■ Denver Urban Extension Center and
community spaces
■ Business incubation and agribusiness
collaboration

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