Colorado State University proposes addition to existing Anatomy Building

Haleigh McGill

A proposal for an addition to the existing Anatomy and Zoology building will, among other things, feature a larger lab for the study of human specimens giving students a greater opportunity to literally pick your brain. That is, if you are dead and have pledged your cadaver to science.

The proposal has been underway since approximately three years ago.


Tod Clapp, director of the one-year masters program for biomedical sciences, explained that the second-floor addition would be above the animal anatomy lab to further accommodate for the study of human specimens. In the fall of 2012, the proposal was expected to cost about $5.5 million, but that figure has risen to $20.1 million.

Other than $1 million pledged from University Facility Fee Advisory Board, the funding is uncertain and currently being investigated, according to Clapp. The Provost is on board.

“There are several ideas; none of them involve increasing student fees,” Clapp said. “Nobody has stepped up and said ‘OK, let’s get this going.’ The miracle would be if some private donor stepped up and contributed to it.”

Tod Clapp, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director of the one-year Masters Program for Biomedical Sciences. (Photo credit: Haleigh McGill)
Tod Clapp, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director of the one-year Masters Program for Biomedical Sciences. (Photo credit: Haleigh McGill)

Lindsay Leech, a 2013 graduate of the University’s Biomedical Sciences Program, who now attends Indiana University School of Medicine, said the proposed addition to the Anatomy Building holds a great amount of potential value for CSU students.

“The small lab that serves as the designated human anatomy lab, where open labs are held, is frequently packed to the point of being unable to physically move and, to add another layer to the problem, the ventilation is poor,” Leech wrote in an email to the Collegian. “This does not provide a conducive environment in which to study … Through these upgrades, an already high quality program will be able to maximize its potential and have an even greater impact on future generations of students.”

Clapp said the proposed addition also brings the opportunity to serve as a bridge for the University to the greater Fort Collins Community.

“Our hope is to expand so much that we can get involved with clinicians in the area, and that they would want to come to this top-notch facility and do refresher courses,” Clapp remarked.

Current CSU health and exercise science major Rachel Landin said that expanding the anatomy facilities improve students’ hands-on learning experiences.

“Dissection is a skill only gained through experience, and the more exposure students have to the material, the better the results will be,” Landin said.

Ryan Knodle, a 2013 CSU graduate who now attends the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Medicine echoed Clapp’s belief that this addition would rival the facilities of the top medical schools in the country.


“The proposed lab is state-of-the-art,” Knodle wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I attend the largest medical school in the country and our anatomy facilities cannot hold a candle to what the proposed lab situation will be like. This beats Ivy League schools, local universities and all others alike. There’s no comparison.”

Knodle noted that the proposed facility would allow the department to reach its full potential.

“CSU has had the faculty and professors to be a renowned program for years; they’ve just always lacked the facilities for expansion,” Knodle stated. “This lab addition will allow CSU to finally do so.”

Clapp acknowledged that the expansion comes with the students’ best interests in mind.

“Decisions should be made based on what is best for the students,” Clapp said. “This has been such a great program, and this would excel it. If this [idea] goes south, it’s on me … I feel so strongly about it at this point in time … I’ll go down with the ship because it’s the right thing to do for the students.”

Collegian Reporter Haleigh McGill can be reached at, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill.