The University of Colorado Denver built a new 85,000-square-foot student-funded facility built on the Auraria Campus. The state-of-the-art building is intended to fill the daily leisure needs of each student on the campus with a high focus on inclusiveness and holistic wellness.
Saunders completed the construction of the CU Denver Student Wellness Center in May 2018. The 85,000-square-foot facility is located at the intersection of Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway within the CU Denver neighborhood on the Auraria Campus. The building is a full-service campus recreation and wellness facility that includes amenities chosen by the students while developing the program plan in 2015. These include:
- Six-lane lap pool and spa
- Three full-size gym courts
- Weight training and fitness areas
- 38-foot-tall climbing wall and bouldering wall
- Group fitness studios
- Multiple study areas and nooks for relaxation
- A student kitchen
- Outdoor adventure services with gear rental
- Bicycle maintenance and repair shop
Building in the heart of downtown Denver is a challenging task, with logistical planning and flexibility at the forefront of success. The first challenge came quickly, with Saunders’ starting the project two months before the groundbreaking to prepare the site for construction. A 20-inch gas line, 36-inch water line, and an 8-inch water line needed to be routed around the site. This was a two-month process that took precise coordination with the City and County of Denver to safely provide street closures and traffic control through a core intersection of downtown Denver.
In many ways, the project was used to offer a learning experience for current programs at CU Denver. Multiple tours were conducted for engineering classes, students inquired information to apply to classroom case studies and Saunders was fortunate enough to employ a CU Denver graduate student intern.
Website: CU Denver Student Wellness Center