CMU construction continues with two new projects

Construction continues at Colorado Mesa University with two projects to expand and renovate a recreation center as well as erect a new residence hall.

The CMU Board of Trustees approved nearly $33 million worth of new work on the Grand Junction campus.

A $19.6 million project will expand and renovate the Maverick Center and include a new 49,000-square foot building housing four basketball courts, a racquetball court, climbing wall, cycling center and golf simulator.

The basement of the Maverick Center will be remodeled to accommodate new locker rooms and larger strength and conditioning spaces. Two mezzanine floors will be suspended above the exercise space in the Hamilton Recreation Center to allow more room for lockers and fitness areas.

The project will be funded with institutional reserves and is scheduled for completion for the fall 2014 semester.

The new residence hall will be constructed in two phases. The first phase will add 99 beds to campus housing and be completed for the fallĀ 2014 semester. The second phase will add another 135 beds and be completed for the start of the spring 2015 semester.

The $13 million project will be funded through revenue bonds paid back through housing fees.

Five residence halls have been built over the past nine years on the CMU campus, bringing to 11 the number of residence halls on the campus and the total housing capacity there to 2,251 students. The occupancy rate last fall was 97 percent.

Still, a study conducted in 2013 estimated the potential demand for additional housing at 360 to 765 beds.

The study found that 51 percent of freshman and sophomores required to live on campus would have done so regardless of the requirement.

Moreover, 562 students living off campus would have preferred to live on campus if housing were available.

Even as construction begins at the Maverick Center and on the new residence hall, construction is scheduled for completion later this year on a nearly $20 million classroom building.

Counting the latest projects, $280 million worth of construction has transformed the CMU campus over the past 10 years.

During that same span, student enrollment has increased 70 percent to nearly 10,000, making CMU the fastest-growing educational institution in Colorado.