It is a very familiar place, yet so different. It is a new place, a new chapter taking shape.
clock tower at the Kraemer Library, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
For my three girls, today is the first day of classes at the University of Colorado, here in Colorado Springs. Deborah and Tara, having attended Colorado State in Ft. Collins in their freshman year, felt uncomfortable with life on the big campus. Elizabeth opted to stay closer to home from the very beginning. Having them closer to home has made it easier, allowing them to mature and become more independent on their own terms, on their own schedule. Needless to say, it eases the stress on the checkbook.
The campus has changed considerably through the years. When my sister, Ginny, began here in 1972, it wasn’t far removed from its previous life as a sanitorium facility. A few classrooms still had bathtubs fixed in place. The fifth floor of the Main Classroom building was closed off, something about a weak floor and weak roof system. By the time I started in 1974, a new library-classroom-laboratory building was added. It was so quickly built, Dwire Hall, was already sliding down the expanded hill it was built on. The building was eventually stabilized after three years of remedial work.
Additional classroom, laboratory and office space was slowly added through the 1980s. In the late 1990s, a more rapid building cycle began. In addition to more classroom space, a new library building, and student union, residential student housing was added to the campus.
looking towards the new end of the campus – Columbine Hall (on the left), student housing units (on the right)
and parking garage (left, foreground)
No longer a commuter campus, it has become the fastest growing campus in the university system. The construction continues on a strong pace. A new sciences and engineering building and events/student union center recently opened.
a panoramic view of the new end of campus – Sciences & Engineering Classroom Laboratory building (right foreground)
If anything, it is beginning to lose its small campus atmosphere. With over 10,000 enrolled students, that is inevitable. Hopefully, the small campus atmosphere will last long enough until my daughters graduate.