By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.
October 26, 2011
Better late than never, here is a tour of the University of Colorado’s East Campus. I walked there on Friday, Oct. 14, from my house in North Boulder, because I wanted to get a close-up look at the new Biotechnology Building. I had seen it from a distance but not close-up.
Ground was broken for the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building in 2009 and it is scheduled for completion in 2012. It is being built to LEED certification standards and will get at least a gold and possibly a platinum certification, rare among academic buildings and research labs in particular.
According to CU’s website, the building is named for the late wife of Marvin Caruthers, a CU professor and biotech inventor, one of the founders of Amgen Inc., a principal donor for the project. Jennie Smoly Caruthers taught in CU’s chemistry and biochemistry department.
The point of the building, the university says, is to create “productive collisions” ““ not literally, we hope ““ between scientists from different disciplines that will help address critical challenges in bioscience. These include computer scientists, chemists, physicists, and engineers whose work impacts that of the biomedical scientists. When finished, the building will house the Biofrontiers Institute, the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Division of Biochemistry, with more than 600 faculty, staff and students from nine departments and divisions in 330,000 square feet.
I notice that the rendering of the building that appears on a poster outside and on CU’s website does not include what look like chimneys on the top of it, making it appear from a distance rather like a steel mill or some other kind of manufacturing plant.
The building is massive, as can be guessed from the statistics above. Construction is ongoing although its opening is projected for early 2012.
Many years ago, when I was a graduate student at CU, my son and I lived in a family housing complex called Colorado Court that was on the East Campus. And I didn’t realize until I walked toward the Caruthers building that my little duplex was right next to the building, on what is now its parking lot. We looked out the window at the CU baseball field and often went to watch games there. Jeff, my son, was 4 at the time, but liked sports just the same. CU was still competing in intercollegiate baseball then but the program was dropped in the 1970s after Title IX required universities to fund equal numbers of men’s and women’s sports. I think I helped cover that story when I was a reporter at the Camera.
Family housing was available to students who were married or had children, and as a single mother it was invaluable to me. Jeff and I shared the duplex townhouse with a law student and his family. Later he was a judge in Boulder County. Another family housing complex, Smiley Court, is still at the corner of 30th and Colorado.
This photo of the Caruthers building was taken from about the spot where my townhouse stood, as nearly as I can tell.
The baseball field is still there, with nicer fencing and fixtures, as is the running track where a lone runner was doing laps that morning.
Most of the East Campus buildings are devoted to scientific pursuits. In fact its formal name is the East Campus and Research Park. A map can be found here.
A few buildings that stand out are:
-The Administrative and Research Center, housing a number of administrative departments including Human Resources.
-The Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy Research Lab, founded in 1985, which is a unit of the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Department and also connected with the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research. CASA’s work includes elements of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the FUSE Spectrographic Explorer.
-Two buildings of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research: The newer Space Science Building houses the LASP science division, communications & outreach, and some IT and administrative operations. The main building, the Space Technology building, built in 1991 and enlarged in 2006, houses mission operations & data systems, engineering, and administration. Another LASP facility is in the Duane Science Bulding on the main campus.
Also housed on the East Campus are Housing System Maintenance and Service, the Computing Center, Transportation Services and the Research Park Greenhouse.
Near Transportation Services, CU’s fleet of buses awaiting use and a tiny maintenance truck underscore the green reputation of the University.
And the view from out there is amazing!