CSU Spur opens third and final building on Jan. 6; campus offers free, year-round, public education in Denver

Front facade of the CSU Spur Hydro building.

The CSU Spur campus will soon be complete with the opening of the third and final building at CSU Spur, the Hydro building. A public ribbon-cutting and grand opening event will be held at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, at CSU Spur, 4817 National Western Dr. in Denver.

CSU Spur is a one-of-a-kind campus that opened its first building, Vida, one year ago, launching a new campus that is free and open to the public and extends the reach and mission of the Colorado State University System.

Hydro is the largest building on the CSU Spur campus, a free educational destination in Denver focused on educating the public and engaging the next generation in the inter-disciplinary areas of food, water, and health.

“Hydro provides an opportunity to expand the conversation around water challenges, not only here in the American West, but around the world. In Hydro, we will create a community that connects creative minds in policy, research, education, and innovation, in pursuit of solutions to our water challenges,” said Jocelyn Hittle, associate vice chancellor of CSU Spur. “The facility creates the space and support, but the programs and people that are coming are the most exciting aspect of completing the campus.”

Home to Denver Water’s new Water Quality Laboratory, the building will give people a glimpse into the extensive water testing and treatment of Colorado water. The building will house CSU programs, nonprofit organizations focused on water and water education, and connect visitors to the Western water story through educational exhibits and rotating programming, as well as opportunities to engage with professionals with water-focused careers.

“Denver Water’s new, state-of-the-art water quality laboratory at Hydro ensures we can continue delivering a high-quality and safe drinking water supply to the 1.5 million people we serve across the Denver metro area,” said Denver Water CEO/Manager Jim Lochhead. “Being part of the Spur campus also puts Denver Water in a space where we can better develop solutions to emerging water challenges for our customers and the state, while expanding on our robust youth education program to develop future water leaders.”

An outdoor space – dubbed “The Backyard” – wraps the west-facing side of the building and connects to the nearby open space along the South Platte River. In addition to exhibits and artwork welcoming play, The Backyard’s landscape architecture tells the story of Colorado’s watersheds and its role as a headwaters state.

A structure built in 1930 was purchased and restored to connect to the Hydro building. Called “The Shop” for its numerous past uses, which include an auto mechanic shop and a welders’ workshop, the renovated building will house offices for several non-profit organizations and artist studio spaces that provide the public a glimpse into art creation.

Attractions within the Hydro building

  • Graywater collection and usage in flushing toilets within the building, in line with water conservation practices.
  • A cafe featuring items with produce grown on-site at Spur in the Terra building.
  • Art installations, including works by Jason Bruges, Nikki Pike, and Anthony Garcia, Sr. of Globeville’s Birdseed Collective. Installation by Eric Tillinghast coming in 2023.
  • A flexible theater space that can hold up to 230 people.
  • Meeting space and indoor and outdoor event spaces.
  • PreK-12 educational programs and exhibits.
  • Lab space for food and water professionals and entrepreneurs, “on-show” to the public.
  • The permanent home for the CSU Masters of Agribusiness and Food Innovation Management; the Ag Innovation Center, and the CSU Spur. annual Water in the West Symposium.

CSU Spur hours

  • CSU Spur is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day during the National Western Stock Show (Jan. 7-22).
  • Following the Stock Show, CSU Spur will resume its regular year-round hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every second Saturday of the month.

Events at CSU Spur during the National Western Stock Show

Visit CSUSpur.org for a full calendar of events.

  • Jan. 6: Grand opening of CSU Spur’s Hydro building.
  • Jan. 10: Special programming at CSU Spur.
  • Jan. 14: CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show, special programming at CSU Spur.
  • Jan. 16: Special programming at CSU Spur.
  • Jan. 17: Exceptional Rodeo at the CSU Spur Vida arena with Temple Grandin.

About CSU Spur

CSU Spur is a new, free learning destination open year-round in Denver, focused on engaging K-12 students, families, and visitors around food, water, and health. CSU Spur showcases the work of the CSU System campuses: CSU, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global, while advancing knowledge on topics in food, water, health and sustainability. Spur is built upon the land-grant mission of access to education. To inspire lifelong learners to engage in important world issues, CSU Spur brings together scientists at work with youth and families, showcasing career paths, while creating a space and place for collaboration across disciplines. The CSU Spur campus provides immersive learning experiences and cutting-edge research across three buildings: Vida, Terra, and Hydro. Learn more at CSUSpur.org.

About Denver Water

Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and promotes its efficient use to 1.5 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, the utility is a public agency funded by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. It is Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility. Subscribe to TAP to hydrate your mind, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Other organizations engaged with CSU Spur’s Hydro building

Western Daughters Kitchen, the café opening within the Hydro building

Western Daughters is a whole animal butcher shop specializing in 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef and lamb and pasture raised pork and chicken. All its meat comes from within 200 miles of its doorstep and is antibiotic and hormone-free. Western Daughters believes in working closely with farmers and ranchers to support local ecosystems and economies alike – which is why fifty cents of every dollar spent at Western Daughters goes back to the rancher.

Jason Bruges Studio, art installation at CSU Spur

Jason Bruges Studio is a dynamic, multidisciplinary art and design practice based in London. Established in 2002, the Studio is internationally renowned as a pioneer of the hybrid space between art, architecture, and technology. Through intervening in the urban environment, the Studio produces moments of theatre that weave a sense of magic into the fabric of a place. Bespoke and site-specific, each project explores interrelationships between people, data, nature and technology. Telling stories and creating conversations, the artworks bring people together to ultimately surprise, delight and stir the imagination.

JE Dunn Construction, general contractor of CSU Spur

Founded in 1924, is a domestic general building contractor in the United States with offices in 26 locations. Our vision is to be an indispensable business partner for our clients by first understanding their purpose, goals, and customers and then delivering transformational solutions with certainty of results. We maintain a commitment to our clients and their building goals while being true to our guiding principles — the philosophy of our business operation which is both family and employee-owned. JE Dunn’s purpose is to enrich lives through inspired people and places. Learn more at jedunn.com.

Hord Coplan Macht, CSU Spur Hydro building architect

Hord Coplan Macht is an integrated firm offering planning, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and environmental graphic design with offices in Baltimore, Maryland; Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Hilton Head Island, SC; and the DC Metro area. We combine the goals of creating functional yet inspiring spaces with the principles of innovation, thoughtful design, technical strength, collaboration and financial responsibility to uphold our clients’ best interests and deliver high performing environments for the future. We are an award-winning design firm priding ourselves on leading a collaborative programming and design process that results in beautiful, environmentally responsible, user-friendly spaces. Our process is guided by the belief that all successful projects start by listening (and hearing) to what users and stakeholders really need and ultimately desire. Learn more at hcm2.com.

About Dimensional Innovations, exhibit designer at CSU Spur

Dimensional Innovations, an experience design, technology, and fabrication firm with a national presence, partners with entertainment giants, professional and collegiate sports organizations, Fortune 500 companies and brands, and world-renowned hospitals to develop engaging experiences within a physical space. A team of brand strategists, animators, fabricators, interior designers, graphic designers, architects, interactive and environmental designers, and digital engineers collaborate together in 110,000-square-feet of design and fabrication space to create some of the most talked-about experiences across the country. Learn more at dimin.com.