Colorado State Celebrates Lory Student Center Grand Re-Opening; Conversion into One of the Best Student Centers in the Country

Note to Editors: Interested media may schedule a tour of the renovated Lory Student Center lower level by calling the Office of University Relations at (970) 491-6432. Media are invited to attend grand opening festivities.

Just a year and a half after a devastating flood, the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University will fill with grand re-opening celebrations for the renovated facility, now one of the best in the country.

"We managed to compress about five years of planning and construction into 18 months," said Martha Blood, director of the student center. "Although you’d never want to go through a flood to get to this point, it gave us an opportunity to work from a blank slate and to build the ideal student center. The center now features expanded facilities that are more convenient and busier than before the flood. This facility is one that our staff and the university can be very proud of. It’s one of the finest student centers in the country."

Grand re-opening festivities will run Feb. 11-19 and will include hot air balloon launches, concerts, a Mardi Gras celebration, carnival, family day, casino night and a student organization day. All events are free and open to the Fort Collins and Colorado State communities.

The renovated lower level includes offices for about 40 student organizations, a commons area, lounge, recreation facilities, restaurants, convenience store, copy center, bike shop and a mail packaging business. The lower level also houses the Outdoor Adventure Program; the Office for Off-Campus Student Services and Resources for Adult Learners; the Office for Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs; the Office for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services; and the Challenge Ropes Course Office.

The renovation added 1,500 square feet to the student media offices, including CTV, KCSU-FM and the Rocky Mountain Collegian. The lower level of the bookstore features new merchandise areas with enlarged textbook sections. Ten windows along the south wall face onto a long, curving hallway and are used for textbook buy-back and also serve as display cases. A new ground-level entrance at the northeast end of the student center provides better access to the building.

In all, construction cost for the student center’s lower level has run about $7.6 million with an additional $4 million for fixtures, furniture and equipment. About 107,000 square feet were renovated.

Members of the Colorado State University community are invited to enter a drawing to ride aboard a hot air balloon that will be launched Feb. 18. Contest entry forms will be available at all of the following events.

Below is a complete schedule of grand opening activities.

Feb. 11

  • First Hot-Air Balloon Launch, 2-4 p.m., Lory Student Center west lawn; two student center staff members will be selected in a drawing to take a hot-air balloon ride.

Feb. 14

  • Family Day, 12-3 p.m., Lory Student Center upper and lower levels; features face painting, games, balloon animals, a professional storyteller, a center-wide scavenger hunt and a children’s reading corner in the University Bookstore.
  • Organ Concert, 3-5 p.m., Lory Student Center Theatre; features Ron Rhode, internationally acclaimed theatre organist performing on the student center’s famed Wurlitzer organ.

Feb. 15

  • Carnival, 12-3 p.m., Lory Student Center upper and lower levels; features carnival games hosted by offices across the student center and free snow cones and cotton candy.

Feb. 16

  • Mardi Gras, 12-4 p.m., Lory Student Center lower level; features food booths and entertainment by the Poudre River Irregulars, a popular New Orleans and Dixieland jazz ensemble.
  • Swing Dance, 8 p.m., Lory Student Center Main Ballroom; features jazz by Billy Tolles. Swing dance lessons in the commons area on the lower level at 7 p.m.

Feb. 17

  • Student Organization Day; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Lory Student Center lower level; student organizations will host information booths, open microphone sessions and performances.
  • Live Band Night and Hot-Air Balloon Ride Drawing, the Lory Student Center Commons; featuring Clockworked at 8 p.m. and Breggstown at 10 p.m. At 9:30 p.m., four lucky winners will be drawn for a hot-air balloon ride Feb. 18.

Feb. 18

  • Second Hot-Air Balloon Launch, 7 a.m., Lory Student Center west lawn; four winners will take a ride in a hot-air balloon.
  • Faculty and Staff Night, 5-8 p.m., Ramskeller; Colorado State faculty and staff are invited to come learn more about the student center renovation project.
  • Casino Night, 8-11 p.m., Lory Student Center Commons; features casino games, karaoke and a drawing for a trip to Las Vegas.