Vida Opens at CSU Spur at National Western Center

Vida, courtesy of CSU System.

Tomorrow, Jan. 7, the Colorado State University System will open CSU Spur, a year-round and first-of-its-kind public destination in Denver, at the National Western Center. The first facility to open at CSU Spur is called the Vida building, which translates to “life” in Spanish and focuses on animal and human health.

CSU Spur is made up of three buildings that are open to the public and offer grade-level aligned experiential education and a chance for people to watch professionals at work – in Vida, visitors will be able to watch veterinarians perform surgery on dogs and cats, therapists working with horses to offer equine-assisted therapies, and veterinarians helping equine athletes through strength-building and therapeutic exercises. Seven horses currently live on-site at the new Vida building as part of the Temple Grandin Equine Center equine-assisted services program.

Visitors can engage with interactive exhibits, demonstrations, evaluate X-Rays and animal health in a mock veterinary clinic, and explore animal anatomy through virtual reality.

“We’re proud to open this new campus up to everyone with an interest in learning and discovering more about our world, our health, the food we eat, and the water that sustains us. Spur belongs to all of Colorado; it’s created through partnerships with people and communities around our state, and there’s no place like it anywhere. We hope everyone feels welcome to come in and check it out,” said Tony Frank, chancellor of the CSU System.

JE Dunn is the general contractor and three architecture teams were involved in the CSU Spur project: Anderson Mason Dale, Clark Enersen Partners & Hord Coplan Macht.

The new campus in Denver brings students closer to seeing themselves in professions connected to food, water, and health – the three topic areas that CSU Spur’s Terra, Hydro, and Vida buildings focus on, respectively.

CSU Spur won’t grant college degrees; instead, it will welcome the public, including K-12 students on field trips, it will foster research collaborations, create spaces for innovation and collaboration, and host visitors from around the world. CSU Spur is an innovative, first-of-its-kind take on the mission of public access on which CSU was founded.

“As Colorado’s land-grant institution, CSU is committed to making our world-class teaching, research, and engagement resources accessible to our entire state. That’s why I am so excited about the new CSU Spur campus,” said Joyce McConnell, president of CSU, the flagship university located in Fort Collins. “Its interactive spaces will give K-12 students a glimpse of the hands-on educational experiences they can find in college, including of course at CSU.  And the unique structure of Spur, with the three themed buildings focused on health, water, and food, offers our researchers, staff, and students an extraordinary stage
on which to demonstrate our innovative approach to sustaining both a thriving planet and flourishing humanity.”

The CSU System – made up of CSU, a Carnegie 1 research institution in Fort Collins; CSU Pueblo, a regional serving campus among the most diverse in the state; and CSU Global, a fully online campus serving non-traditional students globally – has worked to bring all three campuses to life within the CSU Spur campus in Denver.

As a destination that is open year-round to the public, CSU Spur will become a place that connects people with important issues, showcases science and research, and excites learners to pursue careers they are passionate about, engage in conversations, and be part of solutions.


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