DENVER, CO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/17/16 -- Husband-and-wife philanthropists Rob and Lola Salazar of Denver have dedicated a $500,000 founding gift toward the construction of an innovative building at the University of Northern Colorado called Campus Commons, tentatively planned for 115,000 square feet.
The gift aligns with the Denver-based Salazar Family Foundation's mission of encouraging area students to achieve their higher educational goals. UNC has now raised $5.5 million toward the $73.6 million, two-year project.
The Campus Commons, immediately south of the University Center, will serve as a welcome center, with multiple other functions, including a one-stop location for students to get answers about registration, finances, study abroad, etc. It will also house performing arts features such as a 600-seat hall and an art gallery. The Campus Commons will be a showcase for UNC's world-class music and musical theatre programs.
The Salazar family has supported UNC for years, and the Salazar Family Foundation established a scholarship to support UNC's first-generation students and student-athletes. The Salazars also developed the award-winning student-housing complex near campus, University Flats, through their investment company, Central Street Capital, Inc. of Denver.
"Campus Commons will echo the mission of the Salazar Family Foundation by creating opportunities for each and every student to discover and live up to his or her potential," UNC President Kay Norton said. "Our top priority at UNC is student success and Campus Commons will bring that to life."
The university has committed to raising $12 million toward the project. In addition to $38 million in state funding and gifts, bonds backed by student fees will finance the building.
"The Salazar Family Foundation is excited to have such a significant impact on the quality of education at the University of Northern Colorado, and we're pleased to know that this project is so much closer to reality," said Rob Salazar. "We anticipate that thousands of our bright young students in Colorado will benefit from this facility."
Other donors include the Griffin Foundation and Boettcher Foundation.
About the Salazar Family Foundation
Established in 1999 by Rob and Lola Salazar, the Salazar Family Foundation's mission is to impact the lifelong learning of students through supporting the growth and efforts of organizations committed to improving the quality of education and students' access to it. For information, go to www.salazarfamilyfoundation.org.