Fraser Civic Art Center

Date: 1/22/18
Elevation view drawing
Student Researcher:Francis Mougne Faculty Advisor: Keith Loftin

The design intention is to provide the town of Fraser, Colorado, an affordable housing solution while establishing an active artist community for its denizens and visitors alike. The program includes 12 studio apartments and required parking. The civic structure is to serve as an art gallery, formal meeting space and informal community gathering space.

Lantern detail drawing
Plan view drawingElevation drawingPlan view drawing

Caretaker's House

Date: 1/23/18
Rendering of section and site view
Student Researcher:Pamela April Faculty Advisor: Annicia Streete

Researching a traditional Japanese Tea House was the foundation for my two designs occupying adjacent sites: a tea house for here and now as well as a caretaker’s house. Beginning with the idea of visual repetition my design concept eventually transformed into a more complex one – that of literal and phenomenal multiplicity. For both of these projects, it became essential that the occupants be able to experience visual duplications as well as experiential diversity. The presence of the natural vegetation on the caretaker site aided my design in providing a tree-house like experience on a raised platform out of sight of the public eye, while simultaneously allowing the caretaker to have a view of anything he or she desires at any time. While the two sites present different experiences, they share a definite connection through the use of proportions and regulating lines. Inversely, the caretaker can retreat to their underground abode and experience extreme privacy, after stepping down a transitional staircase connecting the lookout level and underground level. The private sector of the caretaker’s house exists on the unoccupied space of its twin tea house site directly to the south, reinforcing the separation of public and private life. 

Plan view drawing
Photograph of wood architectural model
Rendering of interior section
Site plan

Allowing Mixing Without Forcing

Date: 1/22/18
Allowing Mixing Without Forcing photograph of wood model
Student Researcher:Marianna Caicedo Faculty Advisor: Andre Baros

This student housing project brings students together by meeting their needs during a developmental stage and allowing them to mix without forcing them. Some students tend to isolate themselves, and it is difficult for them to create relationships as well as connect with others. My solution to encourage interaction is having the most significant meeting points between the buildings but also having some smaller nodes along the hallways. The mixing in this project occurs in three different layers or scales, the smallest being the unit following the interior of the building and the largest being the exterior of the building or site. In all scales, the mixing is always encouraged but never forced to allow students to choose to interact or to stay in privacy.

Allowing Mixing Without Forcing

Ridgway Elementary Schoolyard

Date: 10/1/13 - 1/1/14
Ridgway Elementary Schoolyard
Principal Researchers:


Location: Ridgway, Ouray Colorado

The Ridgway Elementary Schoolyard was a design proposal catering to an active town, which lacked the proper play equipment that properly reflected their community. With a focus on both imaginative play and outdoor education; the design begins to embody the creative, outdoor activity centered community atmosphere.

With equipment ranging from a mining tower zip-line to a rock wall the new playground spaces provide a multitude of options for the students. The ADA appropriate circulation path connects both user and supervisor to the main gateway while allowing view-sheds of all areas proposed. The outdoor classroom, dragon hill-slide, music structures, and an education focused blacktop round out the design providing ample space to recreate during both during and after school hours.

Project Team:
 Lisa Hanano
Local Participants:Danika Gilbert, Ridgway Elementary Faculty

Salida Playground Renovation Master Plan

Date: 6/1/14
Salida Playground Renovation Master Plan
Principal Researchers:


Location: Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado

This project was initiated by the insurance provider for the City of Salida. The playground equipment that we all grew up with is uninsurable and hence needs to be replaced. In an active community such as Salida, though, such playgrounds are used frequently and are an important part of the fabric of the parks in the city. We were asked to consider all the parks in one broad vision, making sure each develops its own character and provides a unique experience for the residents. From this consideration, a Master Plan, prioritizing which playgrounds need attention first and creating implementation plans for each location would be developed and presented for consideration by nearby residents.

After measuring and photographing each playground, we then prepared site plans of each park and held a community wide meeting whereby residents could comment, sketch and effectively design the park they wanted. We got a lot of good input, but in considering the source of the comments, it was determined that most if not all the suggestions came from adults…often acting as advocates for their children, but still not exactly the end users. A second presentation was arranged at Longfellow Elementary school, where we spoke directly to the users of the playground and asked them to discuss, sketch and suggest ways the playgrounds could directly serve them.

We took our findings and produced various options and approaches for each location. These in turn were presented before another community wide meeting. As school was out of session, we could not return directly to the school setting, but the proposals were well received and became the framework from which we prepared an overall Master Plan, detailing the timetable (assumed to be one playground per year for the next 5 years) and offering recommendations for which location ought to be done first, etc. In addition to more detailed designs, cost estimates were prepared and the overall plan was presented to the city council in early summer. The findings were accepted and the first of these parks (Chisholm Park) was designated, per our guidance, to be first on the list.

An RFP was issued based on the conceptual vision produced by CCCD in the summer of 2014. It is expected the work will be done this fall, and the park will be open for use as winter recedes in 2015, using GOCO funding as well as city resources.

Project Team: 
Kelly Finkowski, Tucker Hancock and Mollie Somes
Local Participants: Theresa Casey, Dara MacDonald

Salida Chisholm Park

Date: 6/1/14
Chisholm Park Renovation Concepts
Principal Researchers:


Location: Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado

This project was initiated by the insurance provider for the City of Salida. The existing playground equipment in Chisholm Park is uninsurable and hence needs to be replaced. In an active community such as Salida, though, such playgrounds are used frequently and are an important part of the fabric of the parks in the city. The UTA program was asked to consider all the parks in one broad vision, making sure each develops its own character and provides a unique experience for the residents. From this consideration of the Master Plan, a priority was given to Chisholm Park. There has been a recent renovation and construction of a picnic facility, including a barbecue grill, and food prep area, and with the renovation of the playground, this park would be greatly enhanced.

After measuring and photographing the playground, UTA students prepared two distinct plans. These concepts were presented at a community wide meeting in the late spring of 2014, taking into account input received previously with students at Longfellow Elementary as well as two other public engagement gatherings. A final implementation plan was adopted and presented to the City Council for approval in July of 2014.

An RFP was issued based on the conceptual vision produced by the UTA program in the summer of 2014. It is expected the work will be done by the end of 2014 and the park will be open for use as winter recedes in 2015, using GOCO funding as well as city resources.

Project Team: Jeffrey Wood, Kelly Finkowski, Tucker Hancock and Mollie Somes

Local Participants:Theresa Casey, Dara MacDonald

Berthoud Community Center

Date: 3/1/16
Berthoud Community Center
Principal Researchers:


Location: Berthoud, Colorado, Waggener Park

Design work focused on a modified community center with recreation purpose located on town property. The design included 2 options (one story and a 2 story building) which included a large meeting room, smaller conference rooms, administrative space, day care, and a range of supporting spaces. Additionally the design team explored how the building would fit on the Waggoner Park site with parking lots, access roads, trails and a plaza to include a farmers market and other outdoor functions.

Work helped the town understand what could be incorporated on the site without blocking neighborhood views. As the town completes their town recreation master plan (by others) this park may reflect a more neighborhood purpose or may fit into a larger vision.

Project Team: Carrie Cardona, Matt Roth, Haipeng Zhang, Mike Tupa (Project Coordinator)
Local Participants:Town Manager and local committee
DOLA Regional Manager: Don Sandoval

Bethune Playground

Date: 12/1/16
Bethune Playground
Principal Researchers:


CCCD aided in creating quick design graphics to assist the town with their GOCO Grant application. They had all the cost particulars but wanted to have some graphics to show what it would look like. Eventually, after seeing the sketches they decided to shift from play equipment and ask for a spray pad design as illustrated in one of our renderings.

Project Team: Qaiochen (Heidi) Liu, Mike Tupa (Project Coordinator)
Local Participants:East Central Colorado Counties COG Director
DOLA Regional Manager: Greg Etl

Silverton Downtown Plan

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Silverton Downtown Plan
Principal Researchers:


Location: Silverton, San Juan County, Colorado

This project’s goal was to renew the streetscape of historic Blair Street by means of improving connections from Greene Street, adding attractions and improving wayfinding signage. This design embraces the “shady” and “rustic” history that has been an important part of the development of Blair Street. This can be accomplished by proposals to improve connections from Green St. to Blair St., improving streetscapes with character and imagery indicative of the location, and improving wayfinding signage.

Project Team: 
Richard Sales, CCCD staff, Julia Valiulina, Tiffany Cellura, CCCD students
Local Participants: Town of Silverton

Five Points Welton Street Corridor Plan

Date: 3/21/12 - 6/20/12
Five Points Welton Street Corridor Plan
Location: Denver, Colorado

Civic involvement lies at the heart of the Five Points Welton Street revitalization plan. Through community meetings, survey questionnaires and focus group discussions, stakeholders were engaged to not only identify concerns and needs but also generate potential solutions. With discussions topics ranging from culture to land use, residents, business owners and interested citizens were able to provide input, which crafted the vision behind the neighborhood plan. This process allowed for numerous feedback cycles, ensuring the plan meets the needs of residents in both present and future.

Collaborative partnership between the Colorado Center for Community Development, Five Points Business District, City of Denver, Department of Local Affairs and Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems enabled a multi-faceted approach leveraging leadership and expertise from both the private and public sector. The result is a plan, which addresses the complex nature of the revitalization effort and sets an appropriate foundation for future success of the Five Points neighborhood.

Project Team:
Alexander Pearson, Bryon Weber, Zeljko Spiriac, Gail Francesca Santisteven

Local Participants:Balanced Community, CSIS, DOLA, Five Points Business District, Juice, Slow Food, Perspective 3, Puma, University of Colorado Denver

A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art, Trinidad, CO

Date: 6/21/12 - 9/20/12
Design Charette for the AR Mitchell Museum of Western Art
Principal Researchers:

Location: Trinidad, Colorado

The City of Trinidad was one of fifteen communities to receive a Creative District grant from the Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Louis Fineberg, Trinidad’s planning director, and Paula Little, director of the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art, were in need of technical assistance to make improvements to the historic Jamieson Building in downtown Trinidad, where the museum was located. They contacted CCCD for design ideas, as well as how to best utilize space in the building.

The building was also in need of repairs and renovation, with few ideas for where funding might come from. The Jamieson Building had the potential to serve as a catalyst for other downtown building improvements. Staff from CCCD and CoPR, both centers within CAP, and a graduate students in architecture/landscape architecture, held a two-day design charette in the Jamieson Building in August, 2012. The results included an action plan for high priority repairs and renovations with a time line, list of potential funding sources and a team to implement the action plan.

Project Team: Chris Koziol, CCCD staff, Vickie Berkley, CCCD staff, Ben Wurzer, CCCD student, Abbey Christman, CoPR

Local Participants:Louis Fineberg, Planning Director, City of Trinidad, Karen Wolf, Assistant Planner, City of Trinidad, Tara Marshall, Tourism Director, City of Trinidad, Paula Mitchell, Director, Mitchell Museum, Cosette Henritze, Mitchell Museum

Other Participants:Lee Merkel, DOLA regional manager, Marc Cittone, DOLA Main Street Program, Stephanie Troller, DOLA Main Street Program, Patrice Berglund, A-E Design, Dick Beardmore, A-E Design

Mancos Grand Avenue Downtown

Date: 1/1/14 - 4/30/14
Mancos Grand Avenue Downtown Visioning Study
Principal Researchers:

Location: Mancos, Colorado – Montezuma County

The downtown visioning project was initiated by the Town Administrator in an effort to continue momentum for economic development in town and to begin a dialogue of beautification within the downtown core. The project was to focus on the potential of the Mancos River, a local gem, which runs through the middle of town and to imagine what temporary development could be on vacant lots on Grand Avenue.

The objectives of the project were to extend the existing River Walk trail through town to connect to the primary downtown park and with that propose temporary pocket park like redevelopment on 3 private properties. The property owners and town citizens were brought into the design for input and critique. This input was used to mold and shape the final design concepts which reflect the character, and needs of the town.

Project Team:
 Chris Endreson, Michael Chapin, Lisa Hanano, Daniel Navarro-Gomez

Local Participants:Andrea Phillips - Town Administrator, Downtown Mancos business owners, Vacant lot property owners, Town citizens

Walsenburg Pocket Park and Streetscape

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Walsenburg Pocket Park and Streetscape Renovation Plan
Principal Researchers:


Location: Walsenburg, Huerfano County, Colorado

The client initially asked for assistance in creating a plaza suitable for multiple types of uses…from occasional festivals and musical performances to a regular Famer’s Market to be held weekly. Regardless of how it is to be used, the overall appearance was intended to act as a visual speed bump to attract the attention of motorists driving through town and encourage them to stop their cars and get out to investigate further. The result is an eclectic design that honors the mining traditions of the region, with a vocabulary derived from the familiar structures and tools of the industry.

In addition, a wind screen developed from the iconography of the Spanish Peaks doubles as the back drop to the bandstand and stage on the western end of the proposed park, which is located at 6th and Main Street in the heart of downtown Walsenburg. The final design was refined to require little if any maintenance, with a limited landscape palette requiring very water or pruning.

A team of students from the University Technical Assistance program at the CCCD/CU Denver met initially with the WDRC to program and set project objectives. Subsequent to that, several meetings were held to facilitate public engagement, starting with a roundtable discussion with LiveWell Huerfano County in advance of a series of meetings where an array of initial concepts was presented to the public for discussion and input. As the final design took shape, a reception was held with the city and county leadership in which student designers answered questions and guided the attendees through the proposal. Later that same day, at a well-attended public meeting, what would become the final concept was presented to an enthusiastic response. This culminated into a formal acceptance of the project by the City Council, an event which coincided with the revealing of the name for the park.

Field Supervisor: 
Jeffrey Wood
CCCD Team: Ben Wurzer Christopher Whitenhill, Daniel Navarro-Gomez, Alex Taft, Tim Camarillo, and Sam Starr
Local Participants: Gaye Davis, Karen Wilson, Cindy Campbell

Craig Downtown Façade Guidelines and Concepts

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Yampa Avenue Facade Improvement Guidelines and Concepts
Principal Researchers:


Location: Craig, Moffat County, Colorado

The downtown core of Craig, Colorado is currently gaining a great deal of support for economic development and revitalization efforts. Much of the thrust is from the Economic Development Commission and the Downtown Business Association. Along with the City of Craig, the UTA program was asked to aid the downtown in a visioning process for revitalizing facades. The goal was to inspire downtown business owners to revamp and revitalize storefronts so that people would want to hang out, shop and socialize downtown. Another goal of the city is to establish a façade improvement program to aid the downtown businesses in this effort and to show city support of the process. The city invited business to volunteer their façades for design improvements and assembled a steering committee to aid in the process.

The UTA design team began by assembling the historic photos of downtown to perform an assessment of the past architectural fabric that once existed and compare that to what is seen today. This aided in identifying precedents that could then be shared at a stakeholder meeting to better understand the character of downtown and gain valuable feedback. The students also began putting together design guidelines which could be used to show how the façade improvement could be applied to the downtown buildings. These guidelines were presented to the stakeholders for comment and façade improvement elevations were also presented.

The final thrust of the project was to research numerous façade improvement programs and outline those for the city with recommendations. The UTA team supplemented this with funding sources to aid the city in starting a program as well as sources to aid business owners in identifying more funding opportunities. The city hopes to implement a basic façade improvement program in the near future and slowly begin the process of turning downtown around. Until then, they will encourage business owners to take small step to redress their facades.

CCCD Team: 
Anna Chmel and Thomas Maderick
Field Coordinator: Chris Endreson
Local Participants: City of Craig Administration and Council, Craig Economic Development Commission, Downtown Business Association

Lyons Town Hall Plaza Design

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Lyons Town Hall Plaza Design Plan
Principal Researchers:

Location: Lyons, Boulder County, Colorado

During the flood of 2013, the town hall in Lyons was overcome by water. Once the water receded, debris was deposited in the open space in front of the building. Much of that debris was removed after the storm, but the site remained a rough dirt space that was in dire need of improvement.

A plan was requested to design a plaza in front of the town hall for town staff to gather, for town meeting space and for a display of the town’s pride and a symbol of building back better. Design plan alternatives were shared with the community and following discussion, settled on one plan that included seating walls, positive drainage away from the building, and terraced landscaping - all set into a river-like setting of chipper fines and a boulder “island” with perennials.

The town quickly took action to implement this plan and with support from local contractors. In this project, it can be said that preliminary plans and illustrations generated excitement within the community and is moving a project idea into a reality.

Field Coordinator: Mike Tupa
CCCD Team: 
Aynslee Joyce and Sarah Morse
Local Participants: Jacque Watson, Town Clerk; Victoria Simonsen, Town Manager; Deb Pearson, Lyons Grant Manager

Lochbuie Downtown Placemaking

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Lochbuie Streetscape and Entry Signage Plan
Principal Researchers:

Location: Lochbuie, Colorado

The town of Lochbuie is in a redevelopment phase as a residential community serving the greater Metro Denver area. There is no identifiable downtown but there are major cross streets that may someday serve as the location for downtown Lochbuie. This was the focus of our study. Designs combined previous concepts for parks, identified new cross sections for the existing CR37 Avenue and helped locate lighting, trees along the streets, sidewalks, bike trail connections and signage. Some design work went into signage for the town’s entry and an opportunity to screen the back of an existing gas station convenience store.

The designs were carried through a number of town meetings and presented before town council. Local input helped shape the design solutions and expanded the project to look at connections to a potential park amenity east of town and provided ideas of what can be developed at the town hall parking lot. Final boards and designs were delivered to the town council and they were received favorably. These designs will help the town direct future development at the town entry and possibly help them coordinate with the county in redevelopment of the CR37 right-of-way.

Field Supervisor: Mike Tupa
CCCD Team: Connor Krause, Aynslee Joyce, Guan Wang, Karl Burkhart, Jonathan Wright and Sarah Rosenberg; 
Local Participants: Robert Fejeran, Central City Planning Director, Alex Thome, Fentress Architects, Central City Historic Committee, Central City City Council

Hayden Downtown Parking Analysis

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Hayden Downtown Parking Analysis
Principal Researchers:


Location: Hayden, Routt County, Colorado

The Economic Development Commission of the Town of Hayden approached CCCD to assist them is conducting a downtown parking analysis for two primary reasons. The first was to address a perception of a parking problem in town and the second was to aid the town in planning for several larger scale development projects being proposed. They wanted the UTA team to perform the analysis as a neutral third party so that the information presented would be inclusive of all points of view.

The process of the analysis started off with stakeholder meetings to gather people’s concerns and to educate the group on the functions and methods of a downtown parking analysis. The UTA team developed a series of surveys for business owners and for patrons to understand expressed ideas and concerns and aid in writing recommendations. Detailed mapping of the downtown study area was used to create parking count and occupancy mapping. A thorough review of the town parking code was completed to identify areas where conflict occurred.

A final report with all the statistical data, recommendations and mapping was compiled and presented to the Town Council by CAP student Tim Camarillo and was received favorably. The town has begun to implement some of the recommendations to aid in parking designation by painting on-street spaces and clearly marking non-parking zones. The town is also looking into a parking code conflict that was brought to light which should help in making downtown development more desirable by investors.

Field Coordinator:
Chris Endreson
CCCD Team: Tim Camarillo and Brian Berry 
Local Participants: Town of Hayden Administration and Council, Economic Development Commission

Main Street Streetscape and Façade Concepts

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Collbran Main Street Streetscape and Facade Concepts
Principal Researchers:


Location: Collbran, Mesa County, Colorado

The Town of Collbran, a small community in the Plateau Valley region of the Grand Mesa, is at the end of a dead end highway and has not seen much in the way of private investment in the downtown for many years. Over the last year, a revitalization and reorganization effort has begun through the formation of an economic development committee. The town and the committee contacted CCCD to discuss ways to spur downtown revitalization to help draw people to the town. A series of conversations lead to an agreed scope to conceptualize designs for Main Street Streetscaping improvements, downtown façade improvements and creating a master plan for a downtown park and river access.

Site investigation and documentation visits were performed in order to develop an understanding of the character of town and to gain valuable information from the local residents. A series of presentations to community members for design feedback modified and changed the designs to best suit the community. Regarding the streetscape designs, the community really wanted to create a more scaled pedestrian environment through lighting, sidewalk gathering space, and covered walkways using awnings. In the façade designs they wanted to see more continuity in the western style architecture and an update to some of the facades that have been neglected for years.

The goal of the downtown park is to create a public gathering space and event space to hold more activities such as a concert series or artist events, as well as seasonal events. The project was wrapped up in a final presentation and report to the community.

Project Team: CAP Students: Tom Maderick, Anna Chmel, Andrew Chapin; UTA Field Coordinator: Chris Endreson

Local Participants: Town of Collbran Administration and Trustees, Economic Development Committee

Historic Central City Downtown Revitalization

Date: 6/21/14 - 9/20/14
Central City Downtown Vision Concepts
Principal Researchers:

Faculty Advisor:


Location: Central City, CO

Assistance was requested to help the town consider reuse of historic buildings. Many existing buildings were left vacant as casino operations came and moved on. The sites appeared to offer great opportunities but left the community wondering how to tackle the challenge. Work on this project centered on one building to give guidelines on how to kick-start retail business within the historic building. Alternate treatments included larger scale ideas (i.e. performance center) to small pop-up shops that can function just inside the front doors of this building. Example projects were offered and links to similar town organizations were given.

The plans and ideas were developed with the input of the local cultural district and city planner direction. Town meetings were vocal, informative and actively supportive of the effort. The final presentation meeting had more than 75 people attending and offering feedback. A final report was delivered to the city for their use in the next phases of the town comprehensive planning process.

Field Coordinator: 
Mike Tupa
CCCD Team: 
CAP students: Connor Krause, Aynslee Joyce, Guan Wang, Karl Burkhart, Jonathan Wright and Sarah Rosenberg; 
Local Participants: Robert Fejeran, Central City Planning Director, Alex Thome, Fentress Architects, Central City Historic Committee, Central City City Council

Buena Vista Gateway Plaza

Date: 3/21/14 - 12/20/15
Buena Vista Gateway Plaza
Principal Researchers:


Location: Buena Vista

An underutilized area at the entry to the historic business hub of town came up for sale and presented a chance to remake the gateway to town. Some of the land would be set aside for a new town hall, but the balance would become a park with space for art, gathering near the water, making fishing, and water play easy for visitors. In addition, signage, informational kiosks and other welcoming communication would be integrated into the area, giving a clear sense of where to turn to access the non-highway shopping area.

A variety of approaches, some favoring art display, while others offered a greater sense of gathering for social uses were presented to the community. A mid-century service station however became a sticking point, with at least one resident favoring the saving of the building. The disposal of the building became an issue and the town was unable to negotiate a price for the purchase of the property that was in line with the appraised valuation, and unable to reach a deal, the contract for sale was withdrawn.

Project Team: 
Ben Wurzer, Holly Paris, Casandra Huff, Amanda Tharp, Nathan Paris, Kelly Finkowski, Katie Benz, Jeff Wood (Project Coordinator)
Local Participants: Brandy Reitter
DOLA Regional Manager: Christy Culp