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An expanded and renovated complex brings together U. of Colorado’s sports programs

This two-year project enhances the experiences of athletes and fans alike.

April 17, 2016 |

An aerial view of Folsom Field at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which has recently completed an extensive expansion and renovation of its sports complex that included the addition of a new Sports and Medicine Performance Center, built in partnership with Boulder Community Health and open to the public. Image: Courtesy of Mortenson Construction

A major expansion and renovation of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s football stadium, which had experienced cost overruns over the past two years, was recently completed. The $177 million project—which was financed with bond debt that the school’s athletic department will repay in full through fundraising, business contracts, and community partnerships—centralizes the university’s athletic programs, and is being touted as “transformational” by Mortenson Construction, for which this is its largest design-build sports project to date.

Among the project’s key elements are a 212,000-sf expansion of Folsom Field; a 38,000-sf renovation of Dal Ward Athletic Center, which now includes men’s and women’s Olympic sports locker rooms and an 11,285-sf weight room; the construction of a 108,000-sf, 90-foot high, net-zero-energy indoor practice facility that will serve all of the university’s sports programs and includes a six-lane 300-meter Olympic track; a 534-stall parking garage that Mortenson delivered under a separate contract; and the addition of Franklin Field, a 106,000-sf outdoor grass practice field next to the indoor facility.


This project included the construction of a 108,000-sf net zero energy indoor practice facility that includes a six-lane 300-meter Olympic track that allows the university fo host sanctioned tack and field events on campus. The facility is 90 feet high, enough clearance for the football team's kickers to practice. Image: Courtesy of Mortenson. 


The upgraded complex now includes Champions Center, the new home of CU’s football and Athletic Administration. The Center offers a state-of-the-art locker room and lounge, with dining facilities and rooftop terrace for game-day and special events.

A new Sports Medicine and Performance Center, built in partnership with Boulder Community Health, is now open to the public.

The upgrade added 2,604 solar panels that will generate 1,200 MWh/year of energy. And 1,876 stadium seats were replaced.

During the construction, Mortenson created an interactive model of the project that the community and other stakeholders could navigate using a game controller. The exhibit was displayed on a mobile TV in campus buildings near the stadium, and has served as a communication and fundraising tool.

The Building Team included Populous (architect), M-E Engineers (MEP), Martin/Martin (SE), J3 Engineering (CE), Wenk Associates (landscape architect), Ludvik Electrical (electrical trade partner), Mortenson Construction (GC), Murphy (mechanical trade partner).

A total of 3,161 workers were employed on this project, with the onsite workforce peaking at 600 for one day.  The Building Team had 550-plus days without a recordable injury on the Indoor Practice Field. 

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