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University Relations


Brought to you by the UCCS Office of University Relations.

Volume 53, Issue 2

January 30, 2009

UCCS building receives gold for efficiency, innovation

The Campus Recreation Center at UCCS is the first public building in southern Colorado to earn Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design gold certification status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The building is also believed to be the only LEED gold-certified recreation center in the nation.

LEED is the Green Building Council’s rating system for designing and constructing the greenest, most energy efficient and high-performing buildings. UCCS officials were notified Tuesday of the certification. The Campus Recreation Center opened in Aug. 2007 and features a swimming pool, basketball courts, exercise rooms and panoramic views of Pikes Peak in addition to numerous innovative features such as solar thermal panels, insulated concrete form walls and low-maintenance landscaping.

“This certification surpassed our expectations, serving as an example of the commitment of the project team to excellence,” Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said. “I am appreciative of the work of staff, students, design team and both architects and contractor to make this the first public building in our region to earn gold status.”

The $12 million 54,000-square-foot Campus Recreation Center was constructed using student fees. Additionally, students, particularly the members of the Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability group, advocated that the new building should be the first campus building to be officially certified as “green.” Those efforts will have long-term economic and ecologic benefits, according to Linda Kogan, sustainability director.

Kogan said the Campus Recreation Center is designed to be 30 percent more energy efficient and 38 percent more water efficient than comparable buildings that used conventional building techniques. That efficiency should translate into a $30,000 annual savings in utility bills, she said.

The project received two grants from the Governor’s Energy Office for its pursuit of high performance design. The Farnsworth Group provided consultation services. Sink Combs Dethlefs Architects, Denver, designed the building. Adolfson and Peterson Construction served as the general contractor. The UCCS project team included Kogan, Jeff Davis, director, University Center, Gary Reynolds, executive director, Facilities Services, Gayanne Scott, executive director, Resource Management, Matt Gaden, director, Campus Recreation Center, Mary Yates, coordinator, Student Success, Jim Spice, police chief, Public Safety, and Susan Szpyrka, associate vice chancellor, Administration and Finance.

In certifying buildings, the U.S. Green Building Council reviews dozens of criteria ranging from the use of local materials, energy efficiency, the amount of recycled materials used, use of natural light and the amount of open space. For more about the certification process, visit

The Campus Recreation Center is the first building at UCCS to receive LEED certification. An under construction Science and Engineering Building, as well as two UCCS buildings undergoing renovation or expansion, will seek LEED certification. Other public buildings in Colorado Springs to achieve certification include Colorado Springs Utilities Lab which achieved LEED Silver Certification and offices of the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department which is LEED certified.

“The Campus Recreation Center at UCCS is the first public building in southern Colorado to earn LEED gold certification”

“The efforts will have long-term economic and ecologic benefits, according to Linda Kogan, sustainability director.”

Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at, and the current issue is always at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to or call Tom Hutton, 262-3439.

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