The Inaugural Campus Power Rankings: Which Buildings Are the Best?

Campus power ranking will be a recurring section of rankings to determine which are the best and worst items or locations on campus. The staff of The Oredigger will visit each place to determine the rankings. For this issue, I will be ranking academic buildings around campus. In my opinion, a good academic building should have well-designed interior, and well-designed exterior, great places to study, functional classrooms, and unique amenities.  Most importantly, it should also be a pleasant experience to walk through the building. Based on the criteria, and my opinion, I ranked ten academic buildings to find out which ones are the best and which ones are the worst. 

Marquez Hall

Completed in 2012, Marquez Hall is one of the newest buildings on campus. Currently, Marquez is home to the Petroleum Engineering department. In my opinion, it is the best academic building for its modern feel as well, great places to study, and spacious classrooms. If you are looking for a place to study on campus, I would highly recommend going to Marquez Hall.

Brown Hall

Despite being completed in 1981, Brown Hall has a contemporary look thanks to its relatively recent renovation in 2011. It is home to the Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Mining Engineering departments. Brown Hall is one of the best buildings on campus for the numerous study spaces, nice classrooms, Blaster’s Brew, makerspace, and many other facilities. It is a one-stop shop for all of your study needs.


CoorsTek is the newest academic building on campus, opening September 2017. Walking into CoorsTek is a thoroughly enjoyable experience with tables and booths for studying as well as a great view of Kafadar Commons. The Luminous Waveforms sculpture is also a nice addition. Currently, CoorsTek is home to the Applied Science and Engineering Department. My only complaint with the building is the lack of glass used on the exterior. 

Center for Technology and Learning Media (CTLM)

The Center for Technology Media (CTLM) was completed in 2001. Visiting CTLM is almost like visiting an art museum. In addition to the Gordian Knot, there are a few pieces of art inside the building. In addition to art, CTLM is home to Information and Technology Solutions. You can also stop by Einstein Bros. Bagels on your next visit.

Berthoud Hall

Berthoud hall has a lot of character and was completed in 1940 as a Works Progress Administration project under the New Deal. It has a prominent exterior with steps that are enjoyable to sit on. The rock and mineral samples on display are also a nice touch, even though we also have a geology museum.  Even the lecture seats are relatively comfortable (not as comfortable as other buildings on campus, but better than Coolbaugh Hall). 

Stratton Hall

Stratton hall may not be one of the biggest buildings on campus, but it has the most character. It is the centerpiece of Stratton Commons, another pleasant area on campus. Completed in 1904, Stratton Hall has been a part of the Colorado School of Mines for most of its history. In addition to housing both Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Division, it is the location of The Oredigger meetings.

Alderson Hall

Completed in 1953, Alderson Hall is an academic building on campus that is not particularly prominent. It does have the stained glass in the lobby but has nothing else to distinguish it from other academic buildings. It does not have many great places to study, but it is not a particularly unpleasant building either. 

Hill Hall

Completed in 1998, Hill Hall is another boring building on campus. It has classrooms and houses the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department but does not have anything to make it stand out. From the outside, it also looks very boring with its standard brick exterior.

Coolbaugh Hall

Completed in 1951, Coolbaugh Hall is one of the worst academic buildings on campus. No natural light enters the building, making it a very unpleasant experience to walk through. The building is also relatively isolated from other academic buildings and has no good places to study within the building. It also shows its age with chalkboards in the lecture halls. Even the periodic table in Periodic Table is more up to date than the periodic tables in the lecture hall.

Chauvenet Hall

Chauvenet Hall is, in my opinion, the worst academic building on campus. It was created when two buildings, an academic building and a heating plant, were joined together in 1950. There are two second floors that do not connect. It is very easy to get lost in the building and very frustrating when you go to the wrong second floor. In addition, it looks very strange when viewed from Stratton Commons since only the top of the building stick out from the ground.

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