An architect’s rendering depicts the forthcoming National Western Center, which will include a Colorado State University campus of three buildings offering a range of teaching, research, public engagement, and collaborative programming.

Plans are crystallizing for the Colorado State University Campus at the forthcoming National Western Center – the visionary redevelopment of the National Western Stock Show grounds that will transform an integral part of north Denver into a year-round hub for education, research, events, and entertainment.

After years of planning, the CSU System will start construction in 2020 on a $200 million campus comprising three buildings that form a launch- pad for teaching, research, public outreach, and collaborative problem-solving. Work at the campus will spark innovations that fulfill some of life’s most fundamental needs: food, water, environmental sustainability, and human and animal health.

JE Dunn Construction was recently selected as general contractor for the three Colorado State University buildings – the Water Building, Center for Food & Agriculture, and Animal Health Complex. Completion is expected in 2022.

The CSU Campus in Denver will connect to $50 million in new and improved facilities on the flagship campus in Fort Collins, including the recently completed Health Education Outreach Center, which provides state-of-the-art laboratories for learning in human anatomy and neuroanatomy.

“Our efforts at the National Western Center will be a front door to the world-class research at CSU. This project will amplify efforts by pulling in partners year-round, engaging citizen scientists, and inspiring children who might not know where their food comes from now, but will help us solve the global food crisis in the future,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System.

“This is much more than a collection of buildings,” Parsons said. “What happens within them will change the world.”

The Colorado General Assembly provided funding for CSU’s capital construction at the National Western Center with a financing bill passed in 2015.

The CSU System is one of five founding partners in the National Western Center. The others are the city and county of Denver, the Western Stock Show Association, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and History Colorado.

As a result of the partnership, the storied National Western Stock Show will continue its annual appearance on the site, maintaining an economic force in Denver with vast improvements in equine, livestock, and other facilities. The National Western Center will offer many additional attractions and resources that were not previously available.

As plans for the CSU Campus take clear shape, advance programming is well underway. The Water in the West Symposium, for instance, is entering its second year. Several other community-based education and outreach programs involve the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods near the National Western Center site. Learn more at