CSU System breaks ground on Spur campus in Denver; to be complete 2022

On May 5, Colorado State University System broke ground on a new Denver campus — called Spur — which will invite the public to explore and interact with educational content around water, food, and health.

Spur brings the expertise of the three CSU System campuses: CSU in Fort Collins, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global to the public. Spur will also be a platform for other organizations, so every day at the campus will be different, with something new to learn.

Despite the groundbreaking celebration — originally scheduled for April 30 — being postponed due to COVID-19, the CSU System’s Spur campus officially broke ground this week on the first of three buildings as part of the future National Western Center, located near the intersection of I-25 and I-70. 

The first building at Spur is named Vida and will focus on animal and human health, leveraging CSU’s world-class veterinary medicine program; hosting the second location of CSU’s Temple Grandin Equine Center, which provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to humans with a range of needs; and partnering with the Dumb Friends League to offer a donor-subsidized clinic for companion animals while providing hands-on education for CSU veterinary students.

Once fully open in 2022, Spur will be a one-of-a-kind offering from a higher education institution — opening its doors year-round to lifelong learners, and facilitating groundbreaking research in areas of global consequence. Spur will host families and tourists, K-12 student field trips, conferences and meetings, researchers in state-of-the-art labs, college students pursuing degrees in fields related to agriculture and sustainability, and local artists creating pieces in on-site studios.

Spur statistics

  • Construction: building begins on the other two buildings in October 2020
  • Financial: Colorado State legislature approved $250 million through HB15-1344: $200 million for capital construction of the Spur campus and $50 million went to CSU in Fort Collins to build out assets on the campus that will connect to the Spur campus.
  • Campus statistics (square footage and completion dates):
    • Vida: 114,000 sq. ft. / Fall 2021 (September) completion
    • Water (name TBA): 122,000 sq. ft. / Summer 2022 (August) completion
    • Food & Agriculture (name TBA): 60,000 sq. ft. / January 2022 completion

As an essential function, the project construction remains on schedule, joining ongoing construction efforts on the site by the City and County of Denver. The Spur construction project will employ more than 2,000 people, and is taking all possible precautions to keep workers safe. JE Dunn is the general contractor on the Spur project; and CAA ICON is managing the Spur project. The Clark Enersen Partners is the design team for the Vida building.

About Spur: CSU System at the National Western Center

Coming in 2022: CSU System will open Spur, where innovative ideas and unforgettable experiences come to life at the National Western Center. Spur’s three buildings at the center of the landmark project in north Denver will engage all learners and fuel new solutions around water, food, and health – creating impact on our lives and our world. Spur is where learning is open and accessible to all. Where researchers tackle the world’s most pressing problems around water, food, and health. Where art and culture challenge and surround you. Where rural and urban, local and global intersect. Learn more at csuspur.com. Follow @CSUSpur on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and subscribe to the Spur quarterly newsletter.

About the National Western Center

The National Western Center is a year-round, global destination for ag and food innovation, western heritage and culture that will open in Denver in 2024. We will convene the world at the National Western Center and at nationalwesterncenter.com to lead, inspire, create, educate and entertain in pursuit of global food solutions.