Two recently constructed buildings at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley have won a coveted Engineering News-Record regional award. ENR Mountain States has named the J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center and the Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House the Best Project for Higher Education/Research in 2020.

The project, nominated by Haselden Construction, was selected from 138 entries across seven states. Winners in 19 different categories, including Higher Education/Research, were chosen as Best Projects.

Spring Valley's Ascent Center

Haselden Construction received an Engineering News-Record regional award for the J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center, one of two campus structures the company recently completed at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley.

Haselden Construction constructed both Spring Valley buildings, with direction from the college to ensure that both would meet silver LEED standards, in alignment with the college’s sustainability action plan. Both energy-efficient buildings are designed to accommodate photovoltaic panels and to complement the natural environment.

“When we thought about sustainability, we also thought about the way these buildings would sit on the landscape,” said Heather Exby, vice president and campus dean at Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs. “The architects mimicked the shed roofs and aluminum siding of ranching structures in our region.”

The J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center hosts student services, a bookstore and a coffee shop, plus three classrooms that can be combined to accommodate up to 100 people. Most important to Exby, the wood-beamed space provides a home base for residential and commuter students to gather between classes and activities.

The 32,673-square-foot Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House contains two full-size basketball courts, climbing and bouldering walls, a dance and yoga studio, a weight room, and an indoor track, treadmills and a meeting room positioned to take full advantage of the Mount Sopris view. Built into a hillside, the building looks and feels fully connected to the surrounding topography, overseeing the soccer fields below. Inside, the double-sized gymnasium can accommodate up to nearly 1,000 people when full occupancy is permitted, providing the college with new opportunities to host student and community events. The campus will offer punch passes and memberships for locals to use the facility for exercise and to climb on the 37-foot indoor climbing wall, pending changes in pandemic restrictions.

Spring Valley's Field House

The Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House at CMC Spring Valley was included in the engineering award Haselden Construction recently won. Photo Ed Kosmicki

“We feel this project upholds the promise we made to landowners to be thoughtful stewards,” said Exby, referring to the neighboring ranch owners who donated 800 acres to start the campus in the 1960s. “Haselden was a wonderful partner,” she said, noting that the award-winning construction project came in on time and under budget.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our work at Colorado Mountain College,” said Byron Haselden, president and CEO of Haselden Construction. “The Ascent Center and Outdoor Leadership Center projects represented our exceptional level of quality in the areas of innovation, craftsmanship and safety. We’re grateful for our longstanding relationship with CMC and the opportunity for these facilities, and the entire campus, to be acknowledged by ENR.”

For Exby, the recognition was great news for the college and the community. “Spring Valley is a hidden gem,” she said. “We’re excited for the community to come rediscover all it has to offer.”