Mar 8, 2017
CSU Fort Collins — Design-builder Pinkard Construction Company – with team partner 4240 Architecture Inc. – has been awarded the design and construction for the Michael Smith Natural Resources Building addition.
Located on CSU’s main campus, the Michael Smith Natural Resources (MSNR) building addition and renovation will add four stories and approximately 42,800 gsf of new space to the south of the existing Warner College of Natural Resources building. The project will house flipped classrooms, instructional laboratories, a Student Success Center, an outdoor terrace, offices and meeting/collaboration spaces.
Total project budget is estimated at $20.2 million with funding through donations, Student Facility Fees and University Resources.
The MSNR building addition centers on the needs of the students, from the large auditorium to the flexible teaching labs to the “treehouse” – a collaboration studio convertible to an outdoor terrace. The facility has been designed to tell the story of natural resources, create a teaching tool for students and faculty, and root the project to the place. Natural materials (stone and wood) and natural elements (sun and wind) are incorporated throughout the student experience with an emphasis on building collaboration, curiosity and community. The addition will serve as the focus of community outreach and student engagement, and will allow the college to grow its reach, enrich education, propel discovery, and increase its impact on the world.
“The building architecture reflects nature as well as the programs housed within through strong transparent connections, views and vistas to the outdoors, and through the use of extensive natural daylighting as well as durable and sustainable materials,” explained CSU University Architect Mike Rush.
The original Warner College of Natural Resources building was constructed in 1975, and has had no significant renovation or additions. A space analysis determined that its Departments and Programs were operating at a significant deficit for the curriculum, enrollment, faculty numbers and level of research – including a high space shortage of instructional laboratories, laboratory service, classrooms, study space and meeting space. As a result, this project mainly focuses on solutions for the classroom, instructional lab, study, exhibit and lounge/meeting space deficits.
“We are consistently growing our college and its impacts on the world,” said John Hayes, dean of Warner College. “Often, that steady progress is measured in inches and feet, but occasionally we take a great leap forward and measure in miles. This is one of those times.”
Pinkard and 4240 were awarded the lump sum design-build contract following a lengthy design-build competition that included numerous collaborative design-build workshops with CSU, the College, and its many user groups. The award was based upon a best value proposition that included design aesthetics, add alternates and final price.
Pinkard Construction Company is a Colorado-based, family and employee-owned design-builder in business in the Colorado Front Range since 1962. With 14 projects on CSU’s main campus since 1963, Pinkard Construction Company is considered a leader in Colorado higher education construction. Pinkard’s most recent design-build project for CSU – South College Avenue Parking Garage – was just awarded the Design-Build Institute of America’s Design Excellence Award by DBIA’s Rocky Mountain Chapter. In 2003, Pinkard’s Plant Science Building renovation at CSU was awarded Associated Builders and Contractors’ National Excellence in Construction Eagle award; and again in 2012 for CSU’s Morgan Library renovation addition. 
4240 Architecture’s celebrated work includes over 1.2m sf of Higher Education projects with market influences ranging from mixed-use urban infill, multi-family residential, commercial, government, and resort hospitality.
Awards include the 2016 AIA Colorado Award of Merit for The Pavilion at CSU’s Laurel Village, the 2014 SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture Award for CSU’s Durrell Dining and Student Center and the 2014 DBIA National Award of Merit for Education Facilities at CU’s Kittredge Central, West and Community Commons. Clients include East West Partners, McWhinney, and Walt Disney Imagineering. Learn more at
The Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR) was one of the country’s first programs established to meet the need for resource managers and information early in the 20th century. The College played a major role in the development of ecosystem science during the 1970’s and has continued to be at the forefront of research in global change science, biodiversity and invasive species.