The idea for a new Western campus for Colorado State University formed more than a year ago, and ground was broken for construction of the new CSU Western Campus in August 2018. Recently, the university celebrated the grand opening of the new Western Campus in Orchard Mesa, Colo., providing residents of the state’s Western Slope with more access to CSU resources and a greater chance to interact with the state’s land-grant university.
The aim was to create a facility that could house multidisciplinary units in one place. The Western Campus provides administrative oversight and intellectual leadership for CSU’s Agricultural Experiment Stations in Western Colorado — Fruita, Orchard Mesa and Rogers Mesa.
The new facility also houses CSU Extension’s Western Regional Office, the Western Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Colorado State Forest Service regional office.
Ashley Stokes, CSU assistance vice president for engagement and deputy director of Extension, notes that the campus will help foster partnerships for communities and businesses in the region. “Through the expertise of our outstanding personnel on the Western Slope and colleagues across CSU, we are continuing to fulfill our land-grant mission.”
The new campus includes a 14,095-square-foot combined office and classroom building with a teaching kitchen, a 7,717-square-foot veterinary diagnostic laboratory, a 100-person-capacity classroom, and multiple meeting areas. In addition, there is a three-bay shared shop with equipment, and a fruit storage building.
The campus will support a range of programs, including the Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief — a program based in Orchard Mesa that aims to increase the amount of high-quality fruits and vegetables available to those facing food insecurity in the region.
The new campus will help CSU meet the needs of engaging the community and provide cutting-edge research to benefit the public.
“The Colorado State University Western Campus gives us amazing opportunities to serve the local needs of communities on Colorado’s Western Slope,” says Joyce McConnell, CSU president. “Agriculture is critical to the economy of Colorado, and CSU is deeply committed to serving our state’s agricultural producers.”