The final building, the final beam: CSU Spur campus hits major construction milestone

The final steel beam will be laid on the Hydro building at the new CSU Spur campus on Sept. 16, marking a milestone for the largest and final building at CSU Spur. 

The Hydro building will focus on water and will open in November 2022 – it is one of three buildings at the CSU Spur campus in north Denver. Vida (health) will be the first building to open in January 2022, with Terra (food) shortly thereafter, opening by April 2022.

CSU Spur is a new concept – a first-of-its-kind place. It will be an educational destination for the public – and while it’s an offering of the CSU System, its main goal is to appeal to K-12 students, members of the general public as visitors … rather than higher education students. 

The campus will be home to real science and research, and will welcome the public to see it “in-action” as a way to elicit learning and action around the campus’ topics of food, water, and health. 

“This topping out is a major milestone as we look forward to opening the CSU Spur campus starting in January – and bringing a new and exciting learning and discovery space to Denver,” CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said. “We’re grateful for the exceptional work of our construction partners who have kept the project on time, and for the partnership with Denver Water that will really bring the Hydro Building to life.” 

The topping out – or laying of the final steel beam on the building – is a significant milestone in the construction of the building which usually results in a public celebration, complete with people signing the beam prior to placement. CSU Spur will welcome people to the site to sign the beam, and livestream the beam placement. 

The 122,000 sq. ft. Hydro building is focused on water and will be home to programs that allow the public to connect with and understand the significance of water by inviting experts and researchers and giving visitors an opportunity to connect with those experts. 

The new Water Quality Lab from Denver Water will open on the third floor of the Hydro building, and researchers will work behind glass, allowing the public to see what hasn’t been seen previously – the water they drink, being tested. 

“Denver Water is very excited to be part of this amazing facility and opportunity with CSU Spur, giving us a closer connection with the public and the 1.5 million people we serve,” said Tom Roode, chief Operations and Maintenance officer for Denver Water. “This puts us right in the heart of a new research environment, in a spot where we can work far more closely and readily with academics and other innovators studying a wide spectrum of emerging and current water quality issues and solutions to ensure we can continue to deliver safe, reliable, great-tasting water to the Denver metro area not only today, but also well into the future.”

Hydro will also be the “home base” of the public-facing CSU Spur educational campus including spaces that will be programmed and be available for nonprofits and existing programs to use, such as:

  • A flexible theater space that can hold up to 300 people
  • A farm-to-table café, selling foods grown onsite at Spur in the Terra building
  • Artist studios with garage doors that allow indoor/outdoor space
  • Flexible classroom, laboratory, and outdoor event spaces and terraces
  • Four major art installations (there are eight total installations at CSU Spur)

About CSU Spur

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 ignite and fuel new ideas around water, food, and health and their 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. The state legislature allocated $200 million for the construction of the CSU Spur project in 2015, citing the educational, economic, and public benefits that the campus would bring. 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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.