Note to Editors: For a full-color, downloadable artistic rendering of the new Computer Science building at Colorado State and a fact sheet, please visit http://newsinfo.colostate.edu and click on the heading for this release.
Colorado State University will ceremoniously break ground on its new Computer Science building at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 21 at the site of the new facility, to be located in the heart of the main campus at Colorado State.
State, local, and campus dignitaries will be joined by Buzz, a robot consisting of a laptop, wheels, mechanical arm, speakers and camera that was built by Colorado State’s student club Robots, Etc. Buzz will help greet the crowd after the ceremony.
The new 45,000 square-foot, four-story building will be home to the Department of Computer Science, part of the College of Natural Sciences. The total estimated cost of the new building, its furnishings and equipment is approximately $14 million, of which $12.9 million was raised through student facility fees. Construction of the building was approved by the University Facility Fee Advisory Board in January and the Colorado State Board of Governors in June.
"This new Computer Science Building is an investment in the competitiveness of our students and faculty, and the economic health of Colorado," said Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley. "The economy of the state is closely tied to high-technology industries, and we as Coloradans face a challenge of increasing our competitiveness in information technology fields.
Expanding our computer science presence will address these challenges, and it will also help attract more Colorado State computer science graduates — at both baccalaureate and master’s degree levels — into the state’s workforce. Colorado State University will also benefit by increasing our capacity for globally competitive research in such fields as energy and biomedical sciences.
"This facility will serve students in every major, providing the resources and support they will need to be technologically capable in whatever career they pursue," Penley said. "I believe our students deserve a tremendous vote of thanks for their decision to fund this building through their fees as an enhancement to the quality of a Colorado State education."
The facility will be centrally located at the crossroads of Colorado State’s plaza, near the Lory Student Center and the William E. Morgan Library. It will house more than 200 lab-oriented computers; specially-designed space dedicated to student collaboration areas on all four floors; and 27 faculty offices. The building will house three main computer labs on the main floor, including a student personal-computing lab that will be open to the Colorado State community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"This facility will anchor computer science in the heart of campus, in a location giving excellent access to our students, and provide exciting and innovative spaces in which to learn," said Rick Miranda, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. "Fields such as artificial intelligence, network security, human-computer interactions, and high-performance computation can be explored in new ways, using new applications, and for new students that will come to this building for generations."
It will serve as an engine for computer science and information technology research and as the focal point of students learning computer science principles and practice at Colorado State. The building will also provide space for ISTeC, Colorado State’s Information Science and Technology Center (http://istec.colostate.edu/).
Darrell Whitley, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science at Colorado State, said need for computer science professionals remains high.
"We are finding a tremendous demand for our students," Whitley said. "Companies are begging for our student as interns and are quick to hire them after graduation."
There will also be a Linux lab used largely by computer science majors and teaching lab which will provide a combination teaching and environment lab where students will be able to do interactive hands-on programming during classes. The teaching lab will be open in the evenings to students taking Department of Computer Science courses.
The Department of Computer Science, currently ranked in the top 60 programs of its kind in the nation, was founded at Colorado State in 1973 and began with just eight professors. Today, it has grown to 23 full-time faculty positions and about 275 computer science majors. For more than 25 years, the department has been located off campus at 601 Howes St.
"It will be a tremendous difference to be back on the main campus," Whitley said. "Our faculty is very excited and our increased presence on campus will certainly benefit students of all majors."
More information about the Colorado State’s College of Natural Sciences can be found at http://www.natsci.colostate.edu/.