Gracing the site of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in North Aurora, the Anschutz Campus is the home of the University of Colorado’s Health Science Center and University of Colorado Hospital. Actually, those well known institutions are just the tip of an enormous iceberg-like medical and research center that promises to be in the top tier of such medical research centers.
With the 2007 opening of the Children’s Hospital, and the soon to be constructed new Veteran’s Administration Hospital, the Anschutz Campus also houses the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute, the Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Facility, and numerous research centers and educational facilities. The present Fitzsimons Golf Course, built for the Army, will give way to the Colorado Science and Technology Park at Fitzsimons. When fully developed, this 578 acre research park will provide jobs for as many as 40,000 people, working in up to 18 million square feet of state of the buildings.
With the hospital facilities and research park employing as many as 90,000 highly trained people in as little as 20 years, the question of where to house those people comes to mind. The areas of Aurora surrounding the campus are old, crammed with obsolete housing, and offer little in the way of modern amenities. To its credit, Aurora has undertaken a massive urban renewal effort, but much remains to be done before there is any hope of matching the spectacular facilities of the Anschutz Campus with its surroundings. The nearby Denver neighborhoods of Stapleton and Lowry offer new, higher end housing built to the standards of New Urbanism. Stapleton, 10 minutes west of the Anschutz Campus, is a continuing redevelopment of Denver’s former airport. Lowry, a similar redevelopment of the site of the former Air Force base, lies 15 minutes from the campus. 15 to 45 minutes south, neighborhoods in south Aurora, Centennial, and eastern Douglas county offer modern housing in all price ranges, with the added benefits of top notch schools and plentiful shopping.
The northeast Metro Denver area, especially Aurora, will reap the benefits of the Anschutz Campus and adjacent Science and Technology Park far into the future. Hard work, imagination, and money from many sources, including over 91 million from the Anschutz Foundation, have come together to create this milestone project from an abandoned military hospital.