CSU–Pueblo residence halls to be named after local mountains

The three-building, 750-bed residence hall complex scheduled to open in Fall 2009 and Fall 2010 on the northwest corner of the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus will bear the names of three Southern Colorado mountain peaks.

The Future Housing Committee considered themes that included people, neighborhoods or streets in Pueblo, and Colorado counties, cities, rivers, and mountains. The Colorado mountains were chosen as the theme because they connect with the unique Colorado environment and experience CSU-Pueblo offers students, carries less potential for embarrassing or unexpected connections and connotations, and allows for future renaming should donations or circumstances support doing so.

The Committee’s original desire was to use the names of mountains visible from campus but a sufficient number of appropriate names could not be found, after eliminating mountains associated with Colorado Springs, so the search ended with three mountains in southern Colorado – Crestone, Greenhorn, and Culebra.

Crestone Hall will open for the Fall 2009 semester with a ribbon cutting and opening during Convocation Week, Aug. 17-21. Move in day for the Fall 2009 semester is Thursday, Aug. 20. Crestone Hall will feature 72 rooms with a total student population capacity of 253. Other features include a “Cyber Lounge” furnished with computers for residents’ use, a fully-equipped on-line classroom, a Great Room Commons space, a laundry, a mailroom, and a casual study lounge at the end of each wing on each floor.

Crestone Hall (formerly Building 1) opening Fall 2009
At 14,294 feet, Crestone Peak is the seventh highest peak in Colorado and the second highest peak in the Sangre de Cristo Range. It rises above the east side of the San Luis Valley along the boundary between Saguache and Custer counties, approximately five miles east of the town of Crestone, which was a mining town where little paying ore was discovered. The town and the surrounding area are now a spiritual and new age center with several world religions represented including a Hindu temple, a Zen center, a coed Carmelite monastery, several Tibetan centers, and miscellaneous new age happenings. Besides the revenue generated by these centers, the town is supported by outdoor tourism and activities. The name Crestone comes from the Spanish word crestón, which, according to Walter Borneman and Lyndon Lampert’s book A Climbing Guide to Colorado’s Fourteeners, means “the top of a cock’s comb,” “the crest of a helmet,” or “an outcropping of ore.” The Committee liked the name Crestone and found the meaning relevant given the residence hall’s location and visibility at the north end of the high outcropping on which the University sits.

Culebra Hall (formerly Building 2) opening Fall 2010
At 14,047 feet, Culebra Peak is the southernmost fourteener in Colorado and also is the only fourteener on private land. Ownership of and access to the land, both for recreational and other activities, have been controversial, involving multiple lawsuits and even occasional violence
resulting from the trespassing limitations put in place by private owners. That history has led to it being one of the most historic, unique, and controversial peaks and one of the last pristine wilderness areas in Colorado. The word culebra means “harmless snake” in Spanish. The Peak is located east of the small town of San Luis, the oldest permanent settlement in Colorado, which is 41 miles southeast of Alamosa. The Committee liked the name and the Peak’s long and unique contribution to Colorado history.

Greenhorn Hall (formerly Building 3) opening Fall 2010
At 12,347 feet, Greenhorn Mountain is the highest point in the Wet Mountains of Southern Colorado and in Pueblo County. It dominates the view south and west from Pueblo and all along the southern third of Interstate 25. The Mountain is named after the great Comanche Chief Greenhorn, or Cuerno Verde, who resided in the area and was killed on its slopes in 1779 near the town now called Rye. Greenhorn’s summit was designated the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness in 1993. It is one of the most remote and lightly used wilderness areas in the State. No other wilderness area in Colorado offers such a vast display of the ecosystem. The Committee focused on this Mountain because it is so visible from Pueblo and because the common connotation of its name is appropriate to a freshman residence hall.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.