The new home of Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the Michael Smith Natural Resources Building, is open for the fall semester with new classrooms and meeting rooms, ample open study space for students, and a multitude of connections to the natural world.
The approximately 50,000-square-foot addition to the existing building began construction in May 2017 and was completed in mid-August.
The building’s new main entrance faces west toward the academic spine of campus and Lory Student Center Plaza. Visitors enter into an extended atrium that features a marvelous two-story living wall; the live-edge community tables are made from campus trees getting a second life. The building’s exterior is accented with Douglas-ﬁ r trimmed sofﬁ ts and a 50-foot-tall Douglas-ﬁ r glulam pillar that supports the cantilevered roof on the west side.
“The vision for the addition was set collectively by our community,” said Warner College Dean John Hayes, “and we’re pleased to have delivered on that vision and to welcome back our students to the new space. We think the new classrooms, study spaces, and the Student Success Center will enhance our academic mission and bolster our community for decades to come.”
A student-centric building
The college’s ﬁrst Student Success Center, named for donors and alumni John and Dolores Goodier, will be staffed by the new Warner College Student Ambassadors. Prospective students will explore undergraduate programs while current students will receive resources and career advising in the center. The Prairie Conference Room adjacent to the student success center is available for student organization meetings and other student-oriented activities.
New dynamic college teaching spaces for technology-based classes and two new teaching lab spaces for specimen-based courses in ichthyology, dendrology, watershed science and geology are sure to be favorites for students and instructors alike. A 120-seat dynamic general assignment classroom, funded by CSU students, will host classes from majors throughout the university.
The Center for Collaborative Conservation can now be found on the building’s third ﬂoor along with the business and human resources ofﬁces. The dean’s ofﬁce occupies the fourth ﬂoor of the addition.
The addition also adds meeting spaces for the college. A series of small meeting rooms on each ﬂoor overlook Sherwood Forest through ﬂoor-to-ceiling windows; the garage door window in the Canopy Meeting Room on the fourth ﬂoor can be opened to let in the breeze and birdsong. On the west side of the building the large, ﬂexible, Horsetooth Rock Conference Room will be available for groups to hold larger meetings.
Along with the building addition, Sherwood Forest is also going to look fresh and improved. A new stone retaining wall will provide far more seating in the area along with an outdoor classroom space. Later this fall, an event to thank donors and christen the building will be held to welcome alumni back to campus and the new home of Warner College.