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Adams State College Unveils New Projects

by Marcia Darnell

Adams State College in Alamosa recently unveiled plans for a new sports stadium as well as new dormitories in two recent community meetings presented by ASC president, Dr. David Svaldi.

The centerpiece of the plan is the stadium, a larger, more resplendent facility than the open field and tiered seats the school currently uses.

The stadium, school officials say, will be used by high school teams as well. It will have Pro Turf, which officials say is environmentally greener and less injurious than regular turf to players. The plans call for low-level specific lights, said to be more high-tech than the glaring floodlights now in use.

The new field could also be used for rugby and lacrosse. A separate area on campus has been designated for javelin and shot put.

Artist’s rendering of the new stadium and dorm complex at Adams State. Courtesy of Adams State College
Artist’s rendering of the new stadium and dorm complex at Adams State. Courtesy of Adams State College

Encasing the stadium like a pod is the new dorm complex – a major upgrade in student housing – four stories in the form of 16 four-bedroom apartments, each bedroom with its own bath. The structure also includes community space, a restaurant, press boxes and increased parking.

Plans for the campus also include renovating Coronado Hall, turning its older housing units into suites and making the building ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Svaldi said that better dorms will attract more students to the school. He said the standard dorm rooms and shared baths “are simply not what students will accept anymore.”

The $22 million project, slated to be completed in fall 2010, is paid for largely by student fees. Svaldi stressed that no money from the state’s general fund is earmarked for the plan.

“This a real stimulus to our local economy,” says Dr. Svaldi.

A key part of the plan – and a big concern to community members – is a dramatic change to the flow of traffic on campus. The current proposal involves closing Stadium Drive to auto traffic. Another side street, now one-way, will become two-way.

Svaldi said that restricting cars to the outer edges of the campus will help “unite” the campus.

As Adams State is located within city limits, conflicts between city residents and pedestrian students are a daily occurrence. There is also a shortage of parking spaces on campus, creating headaches for students and visitors alike. Parking has always been in short supply, as many ASC students commute to school from their parents’ homes in the Valley.

While the new plan creates more parking, and designates drop-off cutouts for campus events, city residents are concerned about the street closures and re-routes, which limits locals’ access to the rest of the city.

Some of the construction work has already begun, so the plan appears to be going forward despite some lingering neighborhood concerns. The outcome – for the school, the students, and the city – remains to be seen.

Marcia Darnell lives in Alamosa, north of Adams State, and routinely uses Stadium Drive to get downtown.