The new Aggie Village Apartments will house more than triple the number of students who were able to be housed in the old Aggie Village complex once it begins operation at the end of this coming summer, University sources say.
According to Tonie Miyamoto, director of communications and sustainability for Housing and Dining Services, the increase from 290 beds to 973 beds is to support campus growth, and will provide housing for upperclass undergraduate students, graduate students, people engaged in post-doctoral research and visiting scholars.
CSU has experienced nearly a decade of annual enrollment growth, standing at an overall enrollment of 32,236 last September. According to the latest 10-year update to the Campus Master Plan, which was adopted by the CSU Board of Governors early in 2015, the University plans for total enrollment to reach 35,000 by the year 2020.
Miyamoto wrote in an email to the Collegian that growth always has some environmental implications, but the University is taking steps to take steps to mitigate the effects of the larger Aggie Village. For starters, the added building capacity will be located in exactly the same footprint as the old building, meaning the additional apartment space will be built up, not out.
“It helps reduce urban sprawl – as buildings spread out more, they take up more space reducing natural spaces and open areas,” Miyamoto wrote. “Buildings with smaller footprints create greater opportunities for trees and outdoor community areas. Density (growing up, not out) also allows more students to live in the heart of campus, where sustainable transportation can be used.”
According to Miyamoto, Aggie Village will be pursuing LEED Gold certification, which requires that the building receive a certain number of points in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. They do this through implementation of sustainability features, including energy-saving techniques and alternative transportation options.
Some of the sustainability features the Aggie Village plans call for are LED lights in each apartment unit, a focus on sustainable transportation, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, solar shades on southern-facing windows, natural day lighting, raw water use for irrigation and low-water landscaping, Miyamoto wrote.
Additionally, the stone and brick used to build the apartments were locally sourced from Colorado, and materials from the old Aggie Village were treated in ways meant to minimize waste to the landfill. This included recycling metals and stone, and crushing the porcelain, concrete and asphalt into small pieces for reuse.
The project’s sustainable transportation goals are being addressed through supplying Aggie Village with four of its own ZipCars for students to rent, 800 bike parking spaces, easy access to the HORN, and an underpass that is being put in at Centre Avenue and Prospect Road to support pedestrian and bike traffic to and from campus.
According to Aaron Fodge, CSU’s alternative transportation manager, this underpass will markedly improve ease of campus access to Aggie Village residents, who will be living just a few steps from the south side of campus.
“We’re happy that the underpass is part of the design of this footprint,” Fodge said. “It will accommodate a significant bike trail and … facilitate improved access to campus without having to navigate Prospect. … It’s a great chance for our students to live on campus.”
Last fall, the University entered a $700 million, three-year building boom that aims to “transform campus and position the university to remain competitive, relevant and agile for the next 50 years and beyond,” wrote Jennifer Dimas, University public relations specialist, in a SOURCE article last September.
The Aggie Village project’s $111 million cost will be financed through bonds, as Housing and Dining Services is an auxiliary entity at CSU that is self-funded and does not receive any state, tax, or tuition dollars.
Collegian Reporter Julia Rentsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @julia_rentsch.