The newest addition to North Nevada Avenue on the western edge of campus will be a 72,000-square-foot Sports Medicine and Performance Center.
Charlie Sweet, vice chancellor, Strategic Initiatives, outlined plans for the new building during a Feb. 15 campus forum that featured updates on the latest building plans, financial aid, diversity efforts and a new cybersecurity initiative.
The Sports Medicine and Performance Center, part of the regional City for Champions program, will be constructed adjacent to the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences along North Nevada Avenue. The estimated $25 to $29 million building will be partially paid for by $16.8 million in sales tax rebates the center will receive under the Regional Tourism Act.
Plans call for construction to begin in mid-2018 with completion by December 2019, Sweet said.
The center will provide medical and performance-based services for elite athletes including those who compete at Olympic and Paralympic, intercollegiate and professional levels. Research and teaching spaces are planned, and several faculty members were identified as being part of the center. UCCS is also looking for partners to provide services in areas such as physical therapy and orthopedics.
Faculty identified as likely having substantial roles in the center include Jackie Berning, professor, Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Jeff Broker, associate professor, Department of Biology; Jay Dawes, assistant professor, Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Margie Hunt, instructor, Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Steve Johnson, formerly of the University of Utah and USA Cycling; Andy Subudhi, associate professor, Department of Biology; and Jeff Spicher, associate professor, Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
During the next year, UCCS hopes to identify partners in the project, set up a partnership structure to operate the center and develop plans for what programs will be offered in the center, Sweet said.
The City for Champions initiative also includes plans for a downtown U.S. Olympic Museum, an Air Force Academy Visitors Center and a downtown sports and events center.
Also at the forum:
Martin Wood, senior vice chancellor, University Advancement, outlined a UCCS cybersecurity initiative under development since June that recently joined forces with a State of Colorado initiative.
The project aims to make Colorado Springs into “Cyber City USA” by bringing experts together to better combat the more than 65,000 computer attacks that occur daily.The project’s vision, Wood said, is to “build on our region’s breadth of skills, assets and expertise to develop a nucleus for enhanced information sharing, training and education, workforce development and a cyber crisis analysis center.”
The initiative seeks $8 million in state funds to aid in the renovation of an industrial building on North Nevada Avenue owned by the university.
Kee Warner, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, Academic Affairs, provided an overview of UCCS efforts to increase enrollment of diverse students and to hire a diverse workforce.
UCCS has made progress in attracting a diverse student body, Warner said, though efforts to diversify faculty and staff ranks have been less successful.Warner said creating an inclusive campus environment is an ongoing challenge and that more work remains for UCCS to achieve its goals. He encouraged faculty and staff to attend a March 30 diversity summit.
Jevita Rogers, director, Office of Student Financial Aid and Employment, shared highlights of efforts to make UCCS affordable for more students.She highlighted average student loan amounts of $24,000, which are lower than state and national averages, and loan default rates that are a fraction of national averages.”The cost of a new car and the average amount a student borrows to complete his or education is about the same,” Rogers said. “But after 10 years, an education will have doubled in value while the car is worth almost nothing.”