Lory Student Center: There’s no place like home
The Lory Student Center isn’t just a building. To say it is would be a true understatement.
For the nearly 30,000 students on the Colorado State University campus, the LSC provides a one-stop shop for their every last need – from books and grub to entertainment and relaxation. It is a place for personal growth and learning, a hub of multiculturalism and social justice, a venue for intellectual dialogue, and a meeting place for friends and colleagues.
The Lory Student Center is a home away from home. And beginning on Jan. 27, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends are invited home for what is sure to be one of the biggest celebrations of the year – the LSC Student Appreciation and Celebration Event, in recognition of the completion of the center’s major overhaul and revitalization.
“I am excited about the renovation of the LSC! I am appreciative of the work that went into making this building so beautiful and such a great place for students, faculty, and staff,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes.
The Lory Student Center revitalization, which began in 2013, renovated 160,000 square feet and added an additional 40,000 square feet to the student center. It called for updating several 50-year-old mechanical systems, redesigning the south entry of the building for improved circulation, and redesigning the west side of the main and upper levels, including an expansion of the ballroom and food court.
“The Lory Student Center has long been recognized as one of the most active student centers in the country,” said Mike Ellis, executive director of the Lory Student Center and assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “The revitalization of the student center only made sense in that the building had reached its 50-year milestone when the project was approved. Through the support of students and numerous donors, the LSC renovation has transformed the bricks and mortar of the physical space, reaffirming our role as a world-class student center serving our CSU community.”
Because the LSC is vital to student life on campus, student input was sought throughout the renovation process. The Lory Student Center Governing Board – composed primarily of student volunteers – and the Associated Students of Colorado State University – the university’s student governing board – were instrumental in getting the word out to students through surveys, presentations, and tours. Additionally, each LSC Governing Board chair and ASCSU president assumed different responsibilities, including assisting with the building’s interior design over the course of the project’s renovation.
“We had a lot of input on types of furniture as well as different aesthetic and branding pieces within the student center,” said Brandon Majmudar, current chair of the LSC Governing Board and junior sociology major.
Early on in the planning, it was determined that it would be important for the newly redesigned student center to reflect CSU’s values and rich history. From the Land-Grant and Research walls to the Ram Head installation above the plaza entrance, the new artistic elements in the building serve as a reminder of CSU’s excellence in teaching, research, and service.
“One of my most favorite parts of the new building is the amount of pride that a student can feel walking into it – from the Ram Head installation, to the Land-Grant wall and Research wall on the third floor, you can feel how invested students, staff, and faculty are in making this building feel like the home for students,” said Majmudar.
“This building is more than just a student center. It is more than just the living room of campus – it is a home away from home,” he added. “So many students, staff, and community members from around the world, around the country, and from down the street have come to know this building as the place they can come to relax, socialize, work, and sometimes even have a little bit of fun.”
Event Planning Services Open House
2:30-5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, LSC Grand Ballroom
Stop by the Event Planning Services Open House for an afternoon of food, fun, and prizes as well as check out the LSC Grand Ballroom, event spaces, and event planning services.
Magicians, Music, Photo Booth, Balloon Artist, Caricatures, ‘Skeller Trivia, Chalk Art and More!
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, throughout the LSC
Stop by the LSC anytime throughout the day and check out the roaming LSC performers.
“Explore the LSC” Drawing and Prizes
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 28 and 10 a.m. – 1 pm, Jan. 29, throughout the LSC
Pick-up “Explore the LSC” card at Campus Information, and complete the “scavenger hunt” by visiting six of the locations on the card. Throughout the LSC, participants can pick up complimentary food, prizes and enjoy activities. Prizes and a list of participating venues can be found online.
Spring Involvement Expo
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 29, LSC Grand Ballroom
Have a bit of free time on your hands? Stop by the Spring Involvement Expo to check out all of the student organizations you can get involved with!
Remarks by Dr. Tony Frank, Dr. Blanche Hughes and Brandon Majmudar
1 p.m. Jan. 29
President Frank, Vice President Hughes, and LSC Governing Board chair Brandon Majmudar will rededicate the Lory Student Center and present the Student Appreciation Plaque. CAM the Ram also will be available for photo ops!
LSC Birthday Cake and Hot Chocolate
1:30 p.m. Jan. 29
No celebration is complete without cake! Cake will be served following the rededication. The “Explore the LSC” winners also will be announced.
For more information, visit the LSC Grand Opening website.
By Dell Rae Ciaravola
The CSU and Fort Collins community have eagerly awaited the Lory Student Center revitalization for the addition of new, fresh and beautiful spaces, yet some of the most important transformations of the LSC are hidden away by drywall and paint.
The backbone of the new building is centered in innovative construction technology:
- Carbon fiber structural reinforcing: This innovative material, which looks like wallpaper, will replace rebar reinforcement for concrete. The fiber is epoxied onto concrete and can be used to reinforce old structural components to bring them up to code. The LSC project is currently using the largest amount of carbon fiber, per square feet, of any other remodel job in the United States.
- Electrochromic glass: Students won’t be the only smart things in the updated LSC; electrochromic glass windows will change from clear to gray-shaded with the flip of switch, helping to preserve energy and naturally warm and cool meeting rooms.
In addition to innovative new technologies, the LSC sports beautiful new interiors, created with the assistance of students who were involved throughout the design process. Some aesthetic jewels include:
- Ballroom: An expanded ballroom, which accommodates 1,600 people and can be divided into four event spaces, features light fixtures that mimic snowflakes. The ballroom is the largest in Northern Colorado, and is called the Grand Ballroom because of its impressive size and view.
- West view: The building is anchored with a sense of direction, with a view of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and the historic ‘A’ visible throughout much of the space through an almost all-glass, two-story west facade.
- Board of Governors approved the LSC renovation proposal in October, 2011. The project cost about $350 per square foot, or $70 million, gathered from reserves, donations and student fee funded bonds.
- 160,000 existing square feet have been impacted by the renovation, and 40,000 new square feet were added, for a total of about 350,000 square feet comprising the building.
- The LSC was originally built in 1962.
- At different times in history, the LSC contained a bowling alley and ice rink.
- At least some small section of the LSC has been remodeled or improved nearly every year since its original construction in 1962, but nearly all of the infrastructure has not been upgraded until this renovation.
- Although the LSC is transformed with significant change, project planners were committed to ensuring it stays recognizable to alumni. As a result, much of the space will remain the same or similar, including the main stair tile mural and food court.
Rams on the street
With so many exciting new elements of the Lory Student Center, we stopped and asked students and staff to tell us what they like best about the newly renovated building.
Dana Kadlec, sophomore
Kilo Gonzales, first-year
Ecosystems Science and Sustainability
Shannon Carpenter, junior
Psychology and Criminal Justice double major
Courtney Kavanagh, first-year
Human Development and Family Studies
Samantha Conway, junior
Health and Exercise Science
Advertising Director, Rocky Mountain Student Media
Making CSU feel like, well, CSU
From the beginning, there was a desire to highlight existing traditions as well as create new ones. This includes incorporating artistic elements to the building design that features the university’s core values: research, Ram pride, and, of course, its land-grant mission.
The Morrill Act, groundbreaking legislation by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862, created the nation’s land-grant university system. As tribute to this historical Act, the LSC pays homage with The Lincoln Wall and Land Grant Wall prominently displayed on the building’s main level.
Funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Research Wall emphasizes CSU researchers, projects, awards, events and funders on a rotating basis in photo slideshows and research videos. The wall is located near the LSC Grand Ballroom.
The distinctive Signature Ram Head in the building’s east entrance is the first of its kind, built with 4,213 acrylic rods and weighing roughly 1,650 pounds. Suspended from the ceiling by four stainless steel rods, the piece took nearly 70 hours to install.
Can’t be here in person? Tour the LSC!
Check out a video tour created by Lory Student Center staff.