CU breaks ground on new aerospace engineering building

BOULDER, Colo. — The University of Colorado broke ground Thursday on a new aerospace engineering building.

When all is said and done, the $82.5 million project will include an indoor flight environment for unmanned aircraft.

The university hopes the new facility will ensure the nationally ranked aerospace program at CU continues to be innovative.

“CU Boulder has long been at the forefront of aerospace education and research, and this new facility showcases our commitment to enhancing the ability of our students and faculty members to lead in a way that is innovative and impacts humanity in a positive way,” chancellor Philip DiStefano said.

Several special guests joined students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to kick off construction. The building is expected to open in summer 2019 on the east campus.

The new building will combine world-class learning spaces with collaborative research areas that integrate student and faculty work and promote interdisciplinary endeavors that drive new discoveries and technologies.

Inside will be an indoor flight environment where aerial systems can be tested. There will also be sight lines for activities such as tracking satellites.

The building will also include a 200-seat auditorium, distance learning-equipped classrooms, faculty offices, and spaces for graduate students.

“CU Boulder’s investment in this new facility will support not just Colorado’s workforce, but the research and partnership that will further drive our success as a state,” said Jay Lindell of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

“Together, we will ensure Colorado remains an international leader in aerospace innovation.”

The current construction timeline means aerospace engineering students in this year’s freshman and sophomore classes will finish their undergraduate degrees in the new building.