rendering of Grand Lake Community Center

Rural Colorado gets design help from architecture students

November 27, 2019

Since the 1970s, students in the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) have been helping rural communities across Colorado through the innovative University Technical Assistance program (UTA). In partnership with the Colorado Center for Community Development and Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), CAP has been designing and building public improvement projects throughout the state.

Rendering of Oak Creek Recreation master plan.
Rendering of Oak Creek Recreation master plan, which lays out the Town of Oak Creek’s vision for its parks, trails, and recreation system.

Students have worked on more than 3,000 projects to date in 50 of the 57 rural counties of Colorado. Projects range from recreation centers and transit depots to riverfront walks and downtown corridors. Regardless of scope and purpose, UTA projects give students valuable hands-on experience. Students work on all design and building processes, including from walking the building site, meeting community clients, and presenting final proposals.

All of this experience helps students immeasurably. Graduates of the UTA program leave school with communication and presentation skills—and a portfolio of built projects. In fact, 95% of UTA students are hired within the first month of graduation.

logo for CU on the Air podcast

Hear more about this unique community partnership by listening to the CU on the Air podcast.