CSU Spur wraps up construction in January; Hydro building opening announced

Building under construction.

Hydro will open on Jan. 6.

The entire CSU Spur campus will be complete in January with the opening of the third and final building at CSU Spur, the Hydro building. A public ribbon cutting will be held on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023; details here.

CSU Spur is a first-of-its-kind concept and opened its first building in January 2022 – launching a campus that is an extension of the Colorado State University System campuses – located in Denver and focused on educating the public and engaging the next generation in the inter-disciplinary areas of food, water, and health.

Hydro, a building focused on water, is the largest building and continues the offering of CSU Spur being a free, public learning destination focused on providing a space for researchers and scientists to collaborate and innovate and inviting visitors to watch those professionals at work.

Join the Hydro ribbon cutting and CSU Spur campus completion

Friday, Jan. 6, 2023
1:15 p.m.
CSU Spur Hydro building
4817 National Western Dr., Denver, CO 80216

Register here.

“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.”

Photos and renderings of the interior of Hydro.

Home to Denver Water’s new Water Quality Laboratory, the building will give people a glimpse into the extensive work that goes into the testing and treatment of Colorado’s drinking water. Once the laboratory is set up and certified later in 2023, Denver Water will be able to perform more than 200,000 tests annually.

“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.”

The Hydro 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 provide opportunities to engage with professionals with water-focused careers.

Rendering of a building.

Rendering of Hydro.

An outdoor space – tagged the “Backyard” – wraps the west-facing side of the building and connects to the nearby 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 – affectionately called The Shop for its forward-facing innovation workspace role, and its numerous past uses, which include an auto mechanic shop and a workshop – will house affordable artist studio spaces that provide the public a glimpse into creation, and house water-related nonprofits in a collaborative space.

Other attractions within the Hydro building include:

  • Greywater catchment and usage in flushing toilets within the building, in line with OneWater practices
  • A cafe featuring items with produce grown on-site at Spur in the Terra building
  • Art installations, including works by Jason Bruges, Eric Tillinghast, Nikki Pike, and Anthony Garcia, Sr. of Globeville’s Birdseed Collective
  • A flexible theater space that can hold up to 230 people
  • Meeting space and indoor and outdoor event spaces for rent
  • 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 CSU Spur annual Water in the West Symposium; and the research location for CSU Spur BioBlitzes

About CSU Spur   

CSU Spur is a free educational year-round public destination in Denver focused on engaging PreK-12 students, families, and visitors around food, water, and health. CSU Spur is a non-degree granting campus that showcases the work of the CSU System campuses: CSUCSU Pueblo, and CSU Global. Spur is built upon the land-grant mission of access to education and the belief that students can be anything they want to be. To inspire students and visitors to engage in important world issues, CSU Spur will bring together scientists to collaborate, put science on-display, and showcase career paths. 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.