On October 8, 2012, the Lakewood City Council formally approved rezoning plans for Colorado Christian University — by a unanimous vote. The rezoning allows for higher density buildings and structures as high as 65 feet. It also allows CCU to expand by 10 acres, a process which has been in the works for well over a year.
“The new construction will help CCU fulfill its strategic objectives by providing an appropriate academic and learning environment, which will foster inquiry and enhance learning collaboration between faculty and students,” said Ron Benton, who serves as assistant vice president of Administrative Services and has been an integral part of the rezoning process. “While we have done a good job with the facilities we currently have, I believe that the teacher is the key to the classroom and as we give the faculty the right tools to teach, learning will be unleashed at a new level and there will be no limits to the levels of learning that can take place in the lives of our students.”
The rezoning will allow CCU to build up to 700,000 square feet of building space, up from 178,000 presently. The increased space will include new academic buildings, ample student life space — comprised of a new chapel, student life center, and event center — and residence halls that better accommodate a thriving student population.
Additionally, plans include a bridge across Devinney Reservoir as one aspect of greater interaction with the water. Designers hope to also include walking paths around the reservoir and possibly access to the water in the form of paddle boats or canoes.
The first phase of the building project, which will be a new academic building on the northwest side of campus, will begin this academic year. The structure will host 44,000 square feet of classroom and office space, as well as lounge and study space for students. The building will be designed to express permanence with low roof lines and strong vertical lines.
Current sketches call for an almost entire rebuilding of campus, accomplished in stages. Plans include two quads and a striking 65-foot cross that will stand at one end of the bridge over Devinney Reservoir.
The rezoning comes at a time when CCU has achieved record enrollment — 1,041 students are in the College of Undergraduate Studies at the Lakewood campus. This fall marks the first time that traditional undergraduate enrollment has surpassed 1,000 students. Additionally, nearly 4,000 adult and graduate students are enrolled at centers throughout the state.