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Sasaki to Lead 2023 Auraria Campus Master Plan

DENVER – (Thursday, May 25, 2023)Today Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) announced that they have named award-winning global design firm Sasaki to lead the 2023 Auraria Campus Master Plan project. The firm was selected by the Master Plan Committee which includes representation from the four on-campus institutions: Auraria Higher Education Center, Community College of Denver (CCD), University of Colorado at Denver (CU Denver), Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver), and a representative from neighboring Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP). 

The master plan has four aims: create a thriving and diverse campus environment, activated by community partnerships; provide exemplary service that will support student success; establish a stronger sense of campus cohesion that will strengthen institutional identities; and revitalize the campus overall.

Sasaki is creating a thorough public engagement plan that aims to inform, consult, collaborate with, and empower all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and affiliated community members.

“Sasaki’s successful track record working with higher education institutions and attention to detail made them the clear leader during a very thoughtful interview process led by AHEC’s steering committee,” said AHEC CEO Colleen Walker.

“The AHEC Master Campus Plan represents a tremendous opportunity to consider the evolution of this urban campus over the next ten years and beyond. The plan will identify how best to reuse and rehabilitate existing buildings as well as communicate additional development opportunities to serve students, faculty, staff, and the broader Denver community,” said Tyler Patrick, principal campus planner at Sasaki. “Our aim is to serve the individual needs of each institution as well as understand opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit across all institutions.”

The project will commence in early summer 2023 with a fact-finding phase, which will host focus group sessions with campus and community stakeholders. The team will then begin the process of soliciting broader input in the fall of 2023 with an online survey that seeks to understand how AHEC community members access and use the campus today. During the fall, the planning team will also conduct two open houses for informing and requesting input from the community.

About Auraria Higher Education Center

Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) is a 150-acre dynamic and vibrant campus conveniently located in the heart of downtown Denver. It is shared by three separate and distinct institutions of higher learning: Community College of Denver, University of Colorado Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver. AHEC focuses on the experiences of those who study, work, live and play on the Auraria Campus, and serves nearly 38,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff.

About Sasaki

Sasaki has been a leader in the design industry for 70 years. The firm is known for blending disciplines, engaging with clients and communities, drawing on history and context, and using data and emerging technologies to shape the built environment. With offices in Boston, Denver, New York, and Shanghai, Sasaki’s 350 professionals’ partner with education, civic, and commercial clients around the world. Sasaki’s integrated services span architecture, interior design, planning and urban design, space planning, landscape architecture, and civil engineering.


Rebecca J. Ruiz
Director of Marketing & Campus Relations

Shane Woolley
PR and Communications Coordinator

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