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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Now open, Nutrien Building is a commitment to ag education


Collegian | Luke Bourland

The new Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building was recently finished in the location of the previous Shepardson Hall Building April 5. The Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building resides east of the Andrew G. Clark Building.

Piper Russell, News Reporter

Colorado State University’s new Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building — formerly the Shepardson Hall Building — is up and running.

Paula Mills, chief of staff and operations at the College of Agricultural Sciences, said the majority of the college will move into the building over the month of May. The public opening of the building is May 3.


“That process is very much happening — we’re getting all of the systems ready in terms of technology and what have you to host people,” Mills said.

Mills said there will be summer classes in the building, but it will begin operating at full capacity at the beginning of the fall semester with a full set of classes at the building. There will be over 500 students coming and going throughout the day.

Funded by the state of Colorado, the building will host the College of Agricultural Sciences’ department of horticulture and landscape architecture, department of agricultural and resource economics and the dean’s office staff, Mills said.

There are facilities in the building that all departments of the College of Agricultural Sciences will use. These facilities include multi-purpose teaching labs that Mills said will be an “engaging, world-class setting for some more interactive experiential learning.” 

There have also been design changes from the previous Shepardson building. Having doubled in size, the building is now 80,000 square feet, Mills said.

“We’ve really redesigned spaces thoughtfully to really support a really high level of experiential learning and to foster just community among our faculty and staff and students and then of course that broader agricultural community,” Mills said.

Anna Gerber, director of communications for the College of Agricultural Sciences, said the building was also designed for intentional interactions, like classes, as well as unintentional interactions, such as sitting on a bench and having a conversation with someone. The building includes student-focused alcoves in hallways, the Aggie commons and the innovation lab, which includes computers and whiteboards. The building is also more inviting, with more lighting.

“It’s just meant to again inspire happy accidents and this free flowing kind of exchange of ideas,” Mills said.

The building also includes a classroom in the round, which is a 160-seat circular classroom.

“There’s a lot of science behind why that’s a very engaging and effective learning environment for students,” Mills said. “There’s a higher level of engagement certainly with the instructor but also with your peers in that you can see one another.”


Gerber spoke about how they remembered the founding of CSU and its land-grant mission when developing the building.

“This building is really an additional modern commitment to that original mission of teaching, research and engagement,” Gerber said. “These spaces are built in a way that supports what we like to say is intentional discovery, inclusive learning and collaborative engagement — so the modern land-grant mission, which is still relevant today and even more important than it was at the founding of the institution.”

As well as being the home of CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Mills spoke about hopes that the Nutrien Building will be the home of Colorado agriculture.

“We want Colorado to know — and farmers and producers and those who identify (with) agriculture to know — that there’s a place for them in here,” Mills said. “And so we would expect it to be lively with events and occasions for ideas to really come together and that CSU will be seen as a trusted convener of those conversations, and this building can be a real launchpad for that.”

Reach Piper Russell at or on Twitter @PiperRussell10. 

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