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Auraria shops for trailers
More students, teachers
cause campus to look
for temporary buildings

By Andrew Flohr-Spence

Auraria is running out of room.
The growing number of students and faculty
at both Metro and University of Colorado at Den-
ver and Health Sciences Center has the Auraria
Higher Education Center looking at trailers and
other temporary buildings to gain additional
classroom and office space, AHEC Executive
Vice President Dean Wolf announced at the June
6 Auraria Board of Directors meeting.
“We don’t have anywhere else to go,” Wolf
said in an interview after the meeting. “We’ve
run out of rabbits to pull out of our hat.”
A number of new buildings are in the works,
the first of which is a new science building slated
to break ground this winter, but the scheduled
completion date for the science building is not
until spring 2009 and the campus needs space
for fall, Wolf said. Metro lacks office space for
60 faculty members, and UCDHSC needs class-
rooms for 60 students.
“We are getting pretty crowded,” said Hal
Nees, an associate professor of criminal justice Photo by Cora Kemp •
and president of Metro’s faculty senate, which Metro environmental science major Ashley Lownsdale and lecturing professor John Van de Grift sit in a cramped office in the Science Building, one of many at
represents Metro professors. “Specific depart-
Auraria. Rising student and faculty populations have caused the campus administration to look for temporary buildings to house the growth.
ments haven’t run out (of space) yet, but it is an
ongoing need.”
Metro’s need for more space is the result of
three double-wide trailers east of the Tivoli along
the soccer fields in place by fall, but Metro is still
Campus Population
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President Stephen Jordan’s plan to raise the num- exploring other possibilities, he said.
ber of full-time professors – often called tenure- According to Fraser, while both schools 19,413 STUDENTS
track professors – and raise Metro’s reputation, were originally looking at trailers to make up 2002 1,000 FACULTY
Nees said. A byproduct of the plan is the need for the space, Metro is now looking at more sub-
a lot more space; full-time professors expect to stantial and more expensive temporary steel- 20,256 STUDENTS
have their own space for storage and class prepa- frame structures. 2003 1,071 FACULTY
ration, whereas part-time professors are often The needs of the two schools are different
asked to share office space with several others. – UCDHSC needs three classrooms, whereas 20,761 STUDENTS
“About 60 faculty are in line to become ten- Metro needs numerous small offices – and the 2004 1,141FACULTY
ure-track this year, and full-time faculty need different uses mean different demands on the
their own offices,” Nees said. building, Fraser explained. 20,010 STUDENTS
Metro spokeswoman Cathy Lucas said the “We are now exploring other options,” said 2005 1,156 FACULTY
school is doing its best to keep up with the grow- Sean Nesbitt, Metro’s facilities planner. “We have
ing numbers. to look at what is most cost effective in the long 21,155 STUDENTS
“With the college growing we are looking at run and can still answer our immediate needs.” 2006 1,194 FACULTY
creative ways to house faculty,” she said. The sturdier structures are more expensive Graphic by Nic Garcia •
“Everybody at both schools is feeling over- to purchase in the short run and wouldn’t be
whelmed by the space crunch,” said Jim Fraser, ready until fall 2008, but there are a number of mer and warm in the winter. The stronger build- to fit the three trailers along Speer Boulevard,
AHEC’s director of facilities management, the of- factors that make it a better option for Metro’s ings have thicker insulation. but the site is too small and they settled for the
fice in charge of maintaining all buildings on cam- situation in the long run, Nesbitt said. He point- Fraser said another issue the administration space next to the Tivoli. One of the few loca-
pus. “We are pounded in here like sardines.” ed out that the trailers lack bathrooms, which is is struggling with is where to put the structures. tions available for Metro is a spot in the parking
The two schools and AHEC have spent the fine for having classes in, but because offices are Because of fire department codes, the avail- lot west of 7th street, near the Administration
summer working to iron out the details, establish- in use more hours of the day, the need for plumb- ability of utility hook-ups and space needed for Building, Fraser said.
ing what type of structures to build and where ing becomes more urgent. future construction projects, such as the new “We are still evaluating whether it’s at all
to build them, Fraser said. UCDHSC has “fast- Another factor is the amount of energy the science building, there are few locations avail- feasible and affordable,” Fraser said. “Much of
tracked” the approval process for its plan to have trailers use to keep them both cool in the sum- able to put the structures. UCDHSC had planned this is still being planned.”