View of City Heights Residence Hall

A Momentous Occasion for CU Denver: City Heights Residence Hall and Learning Commons Opens Doors Aug. 12

July 29, 2021

After nearly two years of construction in the heart of the Auraria Campus, a highly anticipated addition to CU Denver is officially complete—on time and on budget. City Heights Residence Hall and Learning Commons, CU Denver’s first on-campus housing dedicated to first-year students, will welcome nearly 555 students on move-in day Aug. 18. The addition brings to CU Denver an affordable housing option that doubles as a central hub for academic enrichment opportunities and peer-to-peer connection, along with a dining hall for all campus community members. 

Join Chancellor Michelle Marks and the Lynx community on Thursday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. in front of City Heights Residence Hall and Learning Commons (at the intersection of 12th and Larimer streets) to celebrate this momentous occasion for CU Denver and recognize the community members and partners who made this dream a reality. The event will include a brief program, an official ribbon cutting, tours of the residence hall and learning commons, and a sneak peek of the new dining hall. A light lunch will be served.

About the Building  

City Heights is strategically placed in the center of the CU Denver neighborhood on the Auraria Campus. Given the site’s close proximity to Speer Boulevard, campus planners foresee an enlivened corridor that further connects CU Denver students to the many professional and entertainment opportunities the City of Denver has to offer.  

Two residential wings, one six stories and the other seven stories, will feature 555 beds in predominantly double and triple rooms, with pristine views of the Denver skyline to the east and south, snow-capped mountains to the west, and the lively Ball Arena to the north. Every other floor is equipped with small lounges, communal study spaces, and common areas with kitchenettes to foster a sense of community among the residents.  

Read more: Home away from home: Construction begins on new first-year student housing

On the first floor of the north wing will be a dining hall open to all CU Denver students, faculty, and staff. The university has contracted with Sodexo to offer rotating food stations featuring all cuisine styles, including a Mongolian grill, as well as samples from local chefs and restaurants. Meal plans will be available for students, as well as faculty and staff. More details will be shared in CU Denver News following the August opening.  

Connecting the residence hall to the neighboring three-story Learning Commons is a spacious courtyard adorned with grass, trees, flowers, and overhead lights, as well as a “portal” pathway from the Student Commons/Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center to the Tivoli Quad. Planners foresee all CU Denver students and faculty using the space to interact, study, and dine, further promoting a sense of community. 

Connected to the residence hall, decked with floor-to-ceiling windows, offices, and gathering spaces, is the Learning Commons, which will house some of CU Denver’s most-visited student success and academic support services.

A Sustainable On-Campus Housing Model  

When campus leaders planned for City Heights, they envisioned a holistic, on-campus living experience, in which students spend the first year of college building their community at the residence hall before transitioning to apartment-style living at the Lynx Crossing Residence Hall. The housing geared toward upper-division and graduate students is located just a few blocks away. 

The Aug. 12 dedication ceremony is the first of many exciting events and programs to come out of City Heights in the near future. If the new addition is any indication of CU Denver’s future, it’s looking bright.

Then and Now

While many CU Denver students, faculty, and staff have been away from campus for the past 15 months, the Stantec/JE Dunn design-build team has been busy bringing City Heights to life. Below are photos of the progression of the project, from the planning stages to the final product.

Read more: Topping-Off Ceremony Celebrates Progress on City Heights Residence Hall and Learning Commons