Colorado State University Celebrates Grand Opening of Behavioral Sciences Building Sept. 15

Note to Reporters: A separate media tour of the facility will be offered at 10 a.m. Sept. 15, but RSVPs are required. Please contact Emily Wilmsen to RSVP. Photos of the new building and a fact sheet on building features are available with the news release at

Colorado State University will celebrate the grand opening of a student-funded, $45 million Behavioral Sciences Building on Wednesday, Sept. 15 after the President’s Fall Address.

The 92,912-square-foot state-of-the-art facility houses faculty offices and laboratories for the Department of Psychology and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Features include a 278-seat lecture hall with cinema-quality surround sound and projection equipment, classrooms equipped with high-definition and 3-D projection and atriums up to 73-feet high.

A reception celebrating the new building will be from 1-3 p.m. on Sept. 15. Tours begin at 1 p.m. followed by remarks at 2 p.m. by President Tony Frank; Nancy Hartley, interim dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences; Jan Nerger, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences; and Cooper Anderson, president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University. The new building is immediately south of the Clark Building on campus.

Frank will give the traditional President’s Fall Address on the historic Oval at 11:30 a.m.

“The departments of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies are here together on purpose – there’s a creative and strategic investment in academic synergy,” said Lise Youngblade, chair of Human Development and Family Studies based in the College of Applied Human Sciences. “Interdisciplinary collaborations are vital to improvements in knowledge, education and outreach. Our new location provides a wonderful framework for these cutting-edge endeavors and highlights the university’s commitment to collaborative science and education.”

“This beautiful building is a tribute to our very generous students, who approved an increase in their own fees to have a state-of-the-art facility and equipment that we expect will contribute to a positive and enriching learning environment,” said Ernie Chavez, chair of Psychology, which is based in the College of Natural Sciences.

Recognizing a downturn in the state budget, Colorado State’s student body government in 2005 approved a $10 per credit hour facility fee to be used for capital improvements at the university, which included construction of the Behavioral Sciences Building.

Faculty offices and labs are on the second through fourth floors with study lounges for students on all floors and 34 wireless access points in the building. The first floor features three main classrooms that are thematically representative of different Colorado habitats, including one with a windmill wheel built in the 1930s from Montrose, Colo., mounted on the wall. Students can also check out laptops and study rooms on the main floor and enjoy a coffee and snack bar operated by the Lory Student Center’s Sweet Sinsations.

The university’s Department of Facilities Management led the construction project. Pinkard Construction of Lakewood served as the contractor; architects were Bennett Wagner Grody of Denver.

The building was designed to be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold facility as part of an internationally recognized green building certification system. Green features include:

• Rooftop photovoltaic panels to provide some power for the building
• Daylighting via exterior windows and atriums provides natural light to 85 percent of the building
• Vents in individual offices to adjust air
• Low VOC paint, adhesives and materials to reduce off-gassing
• Recycled materials used as much as possible in construction
• Systems that filter water runoff from the roof and allow water to be absorbed by the ground as much as possible before reaching storm sewer
• Permeable pavers on the main north-south sidewalk to allow water to be absorbed by the ground and reduce runoff
• Low water usage planting was used in the landscape
• Sun shades along with high performance clear and fritted glass was used to reduce amount of heat gain through the windows
• White roofing material to reflect heat in lieu of a dark roof that would absorb heat