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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Meridian Village construction on pause since March 2020

The+construction+zone+on+the+future+lot+of+Meridian+Village%2C+a+new+housing+community+on+campus+that+was+scheduled+to+be+completed+in+2025%2C+Dec.+16%2C+2019.

Collegian | Collegian file photo

The construction zone on the future lot of Meridian Village, a new housing community on campus that was scheduled to be completed in 2025, Dec. 16, 2019.

Adam Carlson

Samy Gentle, Staff Reporter

The construction site for the Meridian Village residence community has sat untouched since March 2020, as the project was put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In 2022, as Fort Collins and Colorado State University are entering the post-pandemic era, what is stopping the construction of this housing project from resuming?

CSU Facilities Management, CSU Housing & Dining Services and the university’s contracted design-build team cooperatively made the decision to pause the project when the campus closed back in 2020, according to an email from Mari Strombom, the executive director of CSU Housing & Dining Services. 

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“The project has remained on pause since then due to the impact of enrollment fluctuations on the demand for on-campus housing,” Strombom wrote.

Before resuming the construction project, CSU Housing & Dining Services needs to know enrollment projections for the upcoming three, five and 10 years to ensure the amount of on-campus housing is sufficient for incoming classes while not having empty rooms, according to Strombom.

“We have contracted with an outside firm for updated information on student demand, market conditions and a thorough financial analysis,” Strombom wrote.

“While we are waiting for a decision to be made about the former Aylesworth Hall site, Parking & Transportation Services is utilizing that area as additional parking for on-campus residents, so I think it’s having a positive impact from that perspective.” —Mari Strombom, executive director of CSU Housing & Dining Services

The Meridian Village construction delay is unrelated to the current housing issues resulting in students being placed in the Best Western University Inn on College Avenue and Elizabeth Street, Strombom wrote, as the original opening date of the Meridian Village residence community was fall 2023. 

Also part of the original vision for Meridian Village, according to Strombom, was redevelopment of Newsom Hall in addition to the redevelopment of the former Aylesworth Hall location, where the Meridian Village construction site currently is. 

“Aylesworth housed students from 1958 through 1970 but became offices after Westfall and Durward halls, known as the Towers, opened in 1968,” according to a 2019 Coloradoan article.

Aylesworth Hall was deconstructed during the summer of 2019, the article states. 

According to a 2019 CSU SOURCE article, initial visions for the first phase of the project included “1,100 beds split across three buildings as well as a temporary dining and mail facility, the realignment of Meridian Avenue and renovations of the Braiden Hall parking lot and Ram’s Horn Express and Sports Grill.”

Once Meridian Village opened, the plan was for Newsom Hall residents to relocate into the new residence hall to make way for deconstruction of Newsom as part of phase two of the Meridian Village project, according to the Coloradoan article. 

In regard to the future, “I do not yet know what we will be doing with that site, but if we do construct new residence halls, it is likely that there will be a modification to the original Meridian Village plans,” Strombom wrote.

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“While we are waiting for a decision to be made about the former Aylesworth Hall site, Parking & Transportation Services is utilizing that area as additional parking for on-campus residents, so I think it’s having a positive impact from that perspective,” Strombom wrote. 

Strombom also wrote other projects involving housing on campus include window replacement in Westfall Hall slated for October of this year. 

According to Strombom, “(Housing & Dining) also contracted with a structural engineering firm that is assessing our current residence halls to determine the feasibility of adding more rooms to those buildings.”

Reach Samy Gentle at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samy_gentle_.

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