Although the sky was overcast and the wind was flowing, spirits could not have been higher this past Friday for the groundbreaking of the newest addition on the campus, Marquez Hall. Festivities started off with a performance by the CSM marching band and chorus, followed by a pleasant acknowledgement to the many people who helped make this building a reality by President Scoggins. “As you may know, 1980 alumnus Tim Marquez and his wife, Bernie, laid the groundwork for this new facility with a generous challenge grant of $10 million in 2005. Since then, more than 150 individuals and corporations stepped up to that challenge, contributing nearly $27 million and helping Mines fulfill its vision for a new home for petroleum engineering at the school. Thanks to donor support, Marquez Hall is the first academic building on campus completely funded with private resources.” President Scoggins then thanked the students for their support in helping fund the addition to the building through a portion of their student fees, “Because of [the student’s] own investment, we were able to add approximately 25,000 square feet of much-needed classroom space through a separate wing addition that will be built on the southeast side of the Marquez Hall building.
Ramona Graves, department head for the petroleum engineering department, was next to speak on the advantages the new, state of the art facility will bring to the students of the school. “The building will be truly state-of-the-art, and will further our position as a global leader with a unique breadth of industry expertise.” With hopeful optimism for the future of the department, Ramona Graves continued on about the new features of the building, including “smart classrooms enabling interactive audio-visual technologies, 3-D and 4-D visualization labs, adaptable space for classroom instruction and interdisciplinary research, and one of the most sophisticated drilling simulators in the country.”
Other speakers at the event included Tim Marquez, who was proud to dedicate the building to his family and the future of petroleum engineers at Mines; Mike LeBaron, a senior in petroleum engineering who expressed many thanks to the long list of donors who have empowered the petroleum program; and Harold Korell, recently retired CEO of Southwestern Energy Company and graduate of Mines. Each of these speakers focused on the future that this building will bring to the school with the hopeful intent that it will help the school gain even more recognition in the area or petroleum engineering.
Among the crowd for the event were members of the Colorado School of Mines Foundation’s Board of Governors and member of the school’s Board of Trustees along with famed architect Peter Bohlin, designer of such buildings at the New York City Apple Store and the Pixar Studios headquarters in California, and now Marquez Hall here at Mines. To end the reception and start the groundbreaking, President Scoggins displayed his appreciation for all those in attendance, “You are all a part of the community that keeps this institution moving forward.”