Colorado funding includes renovation of Adams State's oldest structure


Adams State's first building, Richardson Hall, is in line for extensive renovation.

Adams State's first building, Richardson Hall, is in line for extensive renovation.

Colorado Governor Ritter's signature on a bill directing federal mineral lease revenues to higher education construction means extensive renovation for the oldest structure at Adams State College.

The measure allots $12.6 million toward the $14 million renovation of Richardson Hall, built in 1924. Work will include replacement of plumbing, heating, ventilation, and electrical systems, as well as ADA enhancements to a community auditorium. Plans also call for creation of a backup computer operations area to support campus disaster recovery/business continuity efforts. The centerpiece of the campus, Richardson Hall houses administrative offices and academic programs.

"We are embarking on an important era of campus renewal," said Adams State President, Dr. David Svaldi. In March, Adams State students voted to create a new capital fee to fund $35 million worth of improvements. Top priorities for the fee include building a new residence hall and renovating two academic buildings.

The icing on the cake was the state's new Higher Education Intercept program, which will save Adams State about $2.5 million in finance costs. It gives Colorado colleges and universities access to the state's strong credit rating, resulting in lower the interest rates.

$60 million in construction

"We are about to witness the most significant campus building effort since the 1960s," said Adams State Vice President for Administration and Finance, Bill Mansheim. "In campus meetings last year, students told us loud and clear campus housing needed to be updated. By approving this fee, students have given us a mandate to move forward."

Including the $12 million Plachy Hall (athletic facility) renovation now underway, Adams State will complete $60 million worth of construction within the next three-to-five years.

The college will break ground on at least one major project next spring and some projects could begin by late summer, according to Eric van de Boogaard, associate vice president of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction. He said all construction will meet new environmental standards for green buildings established by the State Building Program.

"These campus improvements will be pivotal in the growth and vitality of Adams State College," said Provost, Dr. Michael Mumper. Mansheim added the fee will also create a new scholarship fund.

By Julie Waechter