CSU officials, students, alumni celebrate Michael Smith Natural Resources Building

Beautiful. A great place. Very unique. Perfect. So great. Excellence. It’s gorgeous. Truly a beautiful building. The heart of the campus. I immediately felt at home. Magical. Pretty damn cool.

Donors, students, alumni and others used these words and phrases to describe the Michael Smith addition to the Warner College of Resources at a dedication held Friday, Oct. 12.

Smith and fellow donor Ed Warner described the journey that led to the creation of the new addition, which students described as a new home for them.

“This really is truly a beautiful building,” Smith said after thanking Dean John Hayes for all of the work that went into the project. The new addition is “really the heart of the campus,” he added.

“What you did on the inside is perfect for the students,” said Smith, who added that the new building was a passion project for his friend, Ed Warner.

“I’m not into facilities, but this is pretty damn cool,” Smith said.

Read more about the 50,000-square-foot addition, which was completed in mid-August.

Essential expansion

The Michael Smith addition is an essential expansion for the Warner College of Natural Resources, providing a student success center, meeting and office space, and state-of-the-art teaching laboratories.

The new wing of the building is a $20 million project funded by students, through support from the University Facility Fee Advisory Board; major donor and alumnus Ed Warner, for whom the College of Natural Resources is named; alumnus Michael Smith, a natural-gas entrepreneur and building namesake; and alumni John and Dolores Goodier, among others.

Smith said he hopes that by creating this beautiful new space, it will attract people into natural resources, including the next generation of geoscientists, to make our world a better place.

Warner praised the project team and CSU for a great outcome. He talked about his love for fundraising and how it takes a lot of resources to fund a project like the Michael Smith addition.

“If you’re clever, you collaborate with other people,” he said.

Warner said that he saw the joy and emotional reaction from students when they first saw the new addition. “We actually accomplished what we set out to do,” he added.

Hayes kicked off the event and marked what he described as a day of celebration and gratitude. He noted several striking features in the new addition, including the connections with the natural environment, sustainable practices — the structure will soon receive a LEED silver certification — and the formal and informal areas that reflect the “vibrancy that we have in the college.”

“It is truly not about the bricks and mortar, but it’s about the magic that happened when the students arrived,” said Hayes.

Hayes first thanked the many men and women who worked in sub-zero temperatures and extreme heat throughout the process with smiles on their faces.

He also praised 4240 Architecture, Pinkard Construction, CSU Facilities Management, the Institute for the Built Environment and the Creative Services team at CSU for their contributions.

The dean also highlighted the donors, including the university and its students, John and Dolores Goodier, Michael and Iris Smith, Ed Warner and Jackie Erickson and an anonymous donor from the class of 1973.

CSU President and Chancellor Tony Frank described how “place” matters and how place sets a tone. “This place is made possible by the vision of so many,” he said. He praised the vision of the donors and Warner College leaders, which “has brought excellence to this building.”

“On behalf of CSU, welcome home,” he said.

The State Your Purpose campaign will continue through the university’s 150th anniversary in 2020. To learn more about opportunities to support research or any area of CSU with your gift, of any size, go to giving.colostate.edu