Media advisory: Denver CSU Spur campus hits major construction milestone

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Tiana Kennedy
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The final steel beam will be laid on the first CSU Spur building at 11 a.m. on Feb. 18 – marking a major milestone for the Denver construction project that will open to the public in 2022.

The topping out will be filmed on Facebook Live due to pandemic restrictions, but more than 100 people signed the topping out beam and took small group tours of the construction site in the weeks leading up to the final beam placement on the Vida building.

Vida, which will open in January, is one of three buildings at the CSU Spur campus, and part of the future National Western Center in Denver.

The CSU Spur campus is focused on providing hands-on education opportunities for the public – a place where K-12 students will find inspiration, researchers can collaborate on important issues, professionals will find space for meetings and events, and students from all three CSU System institutions (CSU, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global) can connect with real-life experiences that complement their degree programs.

“We are so excited about the new Vida building in Denver,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at CSU. “We know the public is very interested in animals and their health. This animal hospital will provide a dynamic space for us to share veterinary medicine with the public. Guests can view, participate and learn in an active animal health complex. What a wonderful place to provide veterinary care for the animals of Colorado and to bring our veterinary students into this state-of-the art facility.”

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.

With the current climate, small groups are being welcomed to the site for tours of the three CSU Spur construction plots, and the placement of the beam will be commemorated on CSU Spur’s Facebook Live at 11 a.m. on Feb. 18.

The 114,000 sq. ft. Vida building is focused on animal and human health and will be home to programs that allow the public to see animal health in action, and provide service to the community, including:

The Temple Grandin Equine Center will also open a second location at CSU Spur’s Vida building to provide equine assisted activities and therapies to a diverse audience.

“CSU is bringing the healing power of horses, right to the heart of Denver,” said Adam Daurio, director of administration and outreach for the Temple Grandin Equine Center. “More specifically, the Temple Grandin Equine Center is so honored to bring an animal-assisted therapy program to the National Western Center and help make the CSU Spur Campus a place where individuals with special challenges can participate in a plethora of effective therapies and activities. The audiences of school aged youth, to military veterans, through seniors in living assisted facilities will now be within minutes of some of the country’s most innovative recreational therapies.”

A Dumb Friends League Solutions Veterinary Hospital – a donor-subsidized clinic to assist with keeping pets with their families. Surgeries will be visible to the public to see through the glass as a learning opportunity, and visitors will be able to interact with veterinary staff.

“This partnership between Colorado State University and the Dumb Friends League represents an extraordinary opportunity to alleviate suffering in pets while connecting with people who represent a wealth of diversity,” said Dr. Apryl Steele, president and CEO, Dumb Friends League.

“Pets provide critical mental, emotional and physical support to their people. We are thrilled to be there when these very pets experience illness and injuries that their family cannot afford to treat. By performing surgeries and exams in view of the public, we hope to inspire interest in veterinary medicine and other STEM careers for hundreds of thousands of people.”

Students within CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will engage with the Solutions clinic for hands-on experience, but the building is about more than college students, it’s about the next generation and future impact.

“By making real-life animal health procedures accessible to the public, we know that Vida will spark a lifetime of interest in the relationship between animals, humans and the planet that we all share,” Stetter said.

About CSU Spur

In 2022, the CSU System will open CSU Spur, where innovative ideas and unforgettable experiences come to life at the future National Western Center in north Denver. CSU Spur’s three buildings 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. Learn more at