UCCS to build “National Sports, Art and Wellness Village” along North Nevada

By Philip Denman published January 15, 2013

Imagine driving down Nevada Avenue to a concert, a sporting event, or a visiting a renowned inter-professional sport medicine and sport science facility.  This is all part of the vision for the North Nevada corridor.

All this and more will be possible with the university's proposed development of North Nevada Ave.

According to Martin Wood, vice chancellor, University Advancement, the development is made up of three parts.

"We have designed North Nevada around a concept we're calling the National Sports, Art and Wellness Village, which is made up of three parcels that run along North Nevada Avenue," Wood said. "The south parcel will be will be dedicated to our health and wellness initiatives, the central parcel will house our arts center and the north parcel will be our sports component."

The Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, which broke ground on June 21, will be the first building of the health and wellness parcel. The building will house the Peak Vista Health Care Clinic, as well as the UCCS Aging Center, Gerontology program, Trauma Health and Hazards Center and clinics, a nutrition kitchen and third and forth year branch medical campus.

According to Wood, the next focus within the south parcel is what is currently called "Building 2," which will be adjacent to the Lane Center.

"Right now we're looking to create this building as an inter-professional sport medicine and sport science facility for high performance athletes with a specific focus on impaired athletes," Wood said. "We're hoping to take the excellent UCCS faculty expertise integrated with programs from the Anschutz Medical Center and private clinical practices that specialize in higher performance athletes to create a unique facility focused on education, research and clinical practices.

Wood believes this facility naturally ties in to what is planned for the north parcel of land, which could include three athletic structures.

"Our current priority in the north is a high altitude track and soccer stadium," Wood said. "In addition to our own athletic teams using this facility, it would have disabled access that would allow wounded warriors and Paralympians to use the facility for training and would also provide valuable research information."

According to Wood, such a partnership would allow the faculty from the sports medicine and sports science facility to research the training methods and nutrition of the athletes.

The north parcel will also include an indoor sports field house, and a 3,000-5,000-seat arena that will hosts public events including UCCS athletics, community events and concerts.

The last portion of the proposed plan is the central parcel, which will house the new UCCS Visual and Performing Arts Complex. According to Wood, the complex will most likely be built in several phases to accommodate the university and community's needs.

"First and foremost house the UCCS Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Theatreworks, and GOCA," Wood said. "We're currently talking to community and regional partners who might want to be a part of that complex, and the financial and revenue streams that they can bring to the table."

While the development of North Nevada Ave. would enhance the university's research potential and athletic venues, Wood believes it would also have a positive impact on the Colorado Springs community and the region.

While the Lane Center is currently under construction, the timing of progress on developing partnerships will determine when some of these projects are completed. According to Wood, the largest factor in the timeline will be coming up with ways to finance the $262 million project.

"The university is not going to make any of this happen on its own," Wood said. "These are all plans that we have that we believe are good for the university and good for the region, but the region has to decide whether it wants to become a partner and in what ways because we're going to have to create multiple levels of financing and investments in order to see this come together."

The university is in talks with a variety of community groups to determine if they're willing to partner in the projects. They are also looking at number of funding opportunities, including corporate partnerships, ventures and even naming rights.

Despite the challenges, Wood is confident in the university's plan and excited for it's future.

For more information about the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, please visit: http://communique.uccs.edu/?p=7209.

To view the UCCS Facilities Master Plan, please visit: http://www.uccs.edu/Documents/facsrvs/Master%20Plan/mpSep2012.pdf.

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