One of the recent trends we’ve seen as builders is higher education campuses seeking to ensure that when a student or prospective student first arrives on their school grounds, there is an unmistakable destination for them to begin their campus experience. One of Haselden’s Core Values is to provide a Sense of Belonging to our team members, so it’s pretty cool that we can help colleges make students feel welcome by building an inviting entrance to their campus.

Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus – Ascent Center

Haselden began construction on the Ascent Center at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus in Glenwood Springs in September of 2018. “The campus really needed an effective gateway structure to welcome visitors to the campus; there wasn’t a clear and obvious place to enter the campus and get information,” said Heather Exby, Ph.D., the school’s vice president and campus dean. “The Ascent Center is that new gateway into the campus.” Designed by Anderson Mason Dale Architects, the 16,000 SF Ascent Center will be a welcoming center at the entry to the campus that will provide space for admissions and all student services, as well as a bookstore and coffee shop, and three classrooms that can be combined into one large space capable of holding 100 people. The building—being constructed to LEED® standards—features high ceilings with exposed glulam beams, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, and an indoor/outdoor fireplace. “Its design embodies the culture and values of the College and the location, and it is situated to embrace visitors and students alike,” states Dr. Exby. “The Center feels welcoming with its single level and the sloping roof lines draw visitors into the space. The interior is warm with warm wood throughout, a fireplace, and light-filled spaces.” The project is slated for completion this summer.

University of Wyoming Gateway Center

Completed in 2014, the University of Wyoming’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center provides a welcoming and recognizable entrance to the University of Wyoming. The 67,000 SF facility includes an event center that seats 600, student admissions, career services, UW Foundation offices, conference rooms, a “family room” complete with fireplace, and Legacy Hall—a gallery-style museum boasting interactive timelines and highlighting historic Wyoming residents. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Marian Rochelle’s daughter—former state senator and state representative April Brimmer Kunz—stated the building is a “gateway to the future for the University of Wyoming.” Former Wyoming Governor Matt Mead referred to Gateway as the “front door to a wonderful, wonderful life.”

More Than Just the Building

As a builder, creating an entry to the campus that makes students feel welcome is about more than just the finished product. It’s also about the process and making sure the students (and faculty and visitors) that are already on the campus remain safe and don’t feel displaced during construction. “Haselden has been a great partner with their keen attention to detail, focus on timely and safe building practices, and constant communication,” said Dr. Exby. In the case of the UW Gateway Center, it even included coordinating project tours during construction to help with fundraising for the project. Ben Blalock, president of the UW Foundation at University of Wyoming, stated, “We managed, with Haselden’s assistance, to do fundraising even in the middle of the construction project.”

From the time we are awarded a project through the end of our warranty period, we strive to achieve our purpose: Fulfilling our customers’ needs completely.