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New Dorms And Perks Greet CU And CSU Students

courtesy of Colorado State University

It’s that time of year; students are coming back to Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the University of Colorado in Boulder. They'll find something new on both campuses.

CU officials are expecting a freshmen class of around 5,700-5,800. CSU says they’re expecting a slight decrease in freshmen enrollment from last year's record freshman class of 4,544. CSU's school-wide total is 22,400 undergraduates.

Greeting incoming students are new and renovated residence halls on campus.

CU Boulder’s Kittredge Central, a $34.9 million residence hall, features an immersive Residential Academic Program for students. The 100,000 square foot building includes 264 beds, classrooms and a 250 person auditorium. The university is also unveiling Kittredge West, an existing dorm that recently underwent a $21.7 million renovation.

Over in Fort Collins, CSU is expecting nearly 5,400 students to move into its residence halls Thursday, several of which have undergone recent renovations as well.

There’s new lobbies, elevators, student lounges and kitchens in the Braiden and Parelee residence halls as well as expanded space in Laurel Village. The Durrell Center will feature new study spaces, an outdoor deck and an improved dining center.

Credit courtesy Colorado State University
The renovation of the Lory Student Center as seen from the West Lawn, July 26, 2013.

The Lory Student Center has also been completely refurbished.

The flurry of renovations on both campuses signals a growing trend for universities in the cut-throat world of wooing prospective students.

“We’re very future thinking here,” says Robin Brown Vice President for Enrollment and Access at Colorado State University. “We have a lot of new construction on campus. The Lory student union is getting a complete overhaul. We have new residence halls being build on the north end of campus, and our new biomedical engineering building opens up this fall. So there’s a lot of new construction going on, and it is a way to compete effectively for students in the marketplace.”

Malinda Miller-Huey with CU agrees.

“This generation of students is used to nice facilities,” says Miller-Huey. “We’re seeing more demand for those facilities. We’re also seeing that students are taking more time to make their decisions, they’re applying to more universities. So I think our strong academics are a draw and our environment is a draw, but also the facilities are important to this generation.”

Both CU’s Miller-Huey and CSU’s Brown say that as more out-of-state universities setup permanent recruitment offices in Colorado, both have had to expand and improve academic and physical offerings to continue to attract high caliber in-state students.

"This generation of students is used to nice facilities."

“It’s a new trend,” says Miller-Huey. “I think it’s always been out there, but I think that the profile of Colorado in general has raised, and we’re a fairly educated state and people definitely want our students to go out-of-state to their universities.”

Brown says five years ago around eight out-of-state universities had set up permanent recruitment shops in Colorado. Today that number is closer to 23.

“We are going to be one of the few states that over the next few years there will actually be an increase in high school grads,” Brown continues, “and so as other enrollment offices at other universities are looking at where they can go to make sure they can meet their enrollment goals, Colorado is one of the top ones on their lists.”

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