New Biology Building


IT’S DONE!   We started our move-in on July 20, 2017, and by mid-September picked up the final pieces from our home for the last 30 years in the east side of the Anatomy-Zoology building.  We started classes on August 21, 2017, and students immediately started using the spaces we built for them throughout the building.  Teaching laboratories and classrooms, conference rooms and study rooms, and open idea spaces.  Research labs, offices, and….  the exhibits on the first floor.  You cannot mistake this for anything but a destination for experiencing the wonders of life!

Our GRAND OPENING was celebrated as part of Homecoming week on October 12!  Here’s the link to GRAND OPENING photos from that gorgeous fall day!

The southwest entrance into Biology, with two-story open spaces on the first and third floors, and a large shaded terrace on the second level.

Study rooms on the first-floor  Auditorium hallway welcome students to the Biology building.

Principals of biological science are displayed in the halls of the new Colorado State University Biology Building.

We passed numerous milestones along the way: in mid-December 2016 when “drying in” and exterior skin was finished, including all of that glass facing west, all the windows, and the main entryways.  Each floor took shape in its turn, with classrooms, teaching labs and offices emerging from the dust and the din.  It was a busy place, with 200 or more workers on site on some days.  Here are two shots of the the building from mid-January 2017, from the 3rd floor atrium:


Left to right: Tracey Abel (Project Manager), Mike Antolin, Georgeann Venis (CNS Director), Melissa Reynolds (Chemistry), Dean Jan Nerger. The new chemistry Research building in the background, also slated for opening in summer 2017.

Third floor atrium, looking southwest towards Long’s Peak and the anatomy-Zoology Building.

As a student-funded building, we focused on creating spaces where the record-number of Biological Sciences and Zoology majors can spend their time between classes in study rooms and informal “idea spaces” (below left) and the grand entryway and atrium on the southwestern corner (below right).  But the majority of the building is to provide state-of-the-art research laboratories to support the cutting edge research conducted by faculty, researchers, and graduate students.  And, we are still looking to our alumni and friends to help us complete the finishes that will make this THE showcase for the life sciences on campus.


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A view of the atrium landing on the Biology Building second floor, showing “idea spaces” and a seating areas for taking breaks between classes or at lunchtime.




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The main entryway on the SW corner of the Biology Building, with seating area, a “living wall” and aquaria.

Time-lapse of Biology Building Construction

Construction continues on time and on budget, we are still looking for a early summer 2017 completion.  As you’ll see in the video, which covers the period from Thanksgiving 2015 until the present,  the basement, all floors and the roof are in place.  Currently, the exterior “skin” is being installed, and walls are being framed.  You can also see the new Chemistry Research Building, also slated for a Fall 2017 opening, taking shape on the site of the former Stock Pavilion.  In the background to the east you can see the new South College Avenue Parking Garage (just opened Aug 1, 2016) rise from the ground and take form.

See the video here:  Biology Building Construction Time-lapse

Haselden Construction, Hord-Coplan-Macht Architects, and CSU Facilities managers are clearly on the job!

Cranes at work on the Biology Building and the Chemistry Research Building, July 27, 2016

The Biology Building is just one of six in our neighborhood (Chemistry Research, South College Avenue Parking Garage, the Health and Medical Center, the All-purpose Stadium,  Aggie Village North Apartments.  The full listing of construction projects is here).

Building Topping Ceremony

On May 6, the general contractor Haselden Construction, along with the College of Natural Sciences and the Biology Department, hosted the CSU Biology Building Topping Out Ceremony.   This is an old tradition, the ceremonial placing of the final steel beam on the building to honor the workers who show up each day to transform our building from a notion to a reality.  Here’s a quick video of the event!


The College of Natural Sciences hosted a joint groundbreaking for both the Biology and the Chemistry Research Buildings October 15, 2015, at the building site just east of Anatomy-Zoology .  These two buildings, to be located next to each other along the south side of Pitkin Street on the main campus, will be the Gateway to the Science Mall.

For more information see:

Photos from the groundbreaking on Flickr :

The view from the SW corner on the Science mall, showing the main entryway and the stairway to the patio at the second floor level on the roof of a 120-seat auditorium).

A state-of-the-art Biology Building to open in Summer of 2017.

A word from the Dean and the Biology department

See a 3-D video of the Biology Building! 

In science, students learn by doing science.  A major goal of this facility is to provide more opportunities for students to gain hands-on experiences at the cutting edge of the life sciences. The Biology Building will be the workshop and home to our student apprentices, where standing side-by-side we will forge a future for the life sciences!  Discovery Begins Here!

In April 2014, students at Colorado State University approved a facilities fee increase that provides much of the funding to design and complete the building.  We have initiated development campaign to help offset the bonds raised to fund the project, to raise additional funds to complete the fourth floor, and to provide special features (like a large salt-water aquarium)  to make the Biology Building a signature destination on campus!  We look to you, our alumni and friends, to help in this effort.

The Biology Building will be four stories and 151,560 square feet.  Besides up-to-date research labs, ample space is given to state-of-the-art classroom and teaching facilities, including labs for emerging biotechnology, for student advising suites, and for “soft teaching idea spaces” and lounges where students can network with each other and with faculty.

This campus destination is for ALL students at CSU.   Some will attend lectures or recitations, some will come for lab classes, and others for general-access computer labs.  Many come to work on Honors thesis and other research projects.  Some will find a quiet study corner with a view of the Rocky Mountains or meet friends and classmates.

The new building is sorely needed, both now and for future growth, and is critical for the Department of Biology to meet its teaching and research missions as a modern and forward-looking life sciences program.

If you’ve been following our progress, you  already know that in recent years the Biology Department has increased by about 30% in undergraduate and graduate majors (>1,400), in research staff (~100), and in funded research projects (about 60 grants totaling ~$7M of research spending each year).  You can read details in the Building Plan Document (PDF).

All told, about 2/3rds of students graduating from Colorado State will have enrolled in a course taught by the Biology Department.  We hire about 100 work-study and hourly students in our labs, and 150 Honors students work on individual research theses.  The benefits extend beyond the Biology Department and the College of Natural Sciences: our move from current space in the Anatomy-Zoology building will provide space for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, again to accommodate critical growth in this part of campus.

These projects synergize with the planning for a new research building for the Chemistry Department, partially funded by the Colorado Legislature.  The chemistry research building is being built next door to biology, and together they will create the north side of a Science Mall between Pitkin and Lake Streets (picture below).  We have designed and are building an on-campus destination.


To donate to the Biology Building Enhancement fund, please visit:


As seen from the northwest corner of Pitkin Street and East Drive.  Biology in the foreground, Chemistry Research to the west.


The Biology (on the right) and the Chemistry Research Buildings will make one side of the Science Mall on the south side of campus.