Upturned heads and snapping cameras greeted a new addition to the University of Denver.
On Thursday, construction crews lifted a 31-foot blue spire atop a tower at the Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex, a five-story addition to the Josef Korbel School of International Studies to be completed in February 2016.
“At 5,280 feet, no one has ever called DU vertically challenged,” quipped Christopher Hill, dean of the Korbel School. “But we at the School for International Studies have been – and that ends today.”
The Sie Complex, which measures 143 feet from the ground to the tip of the spire, is financed partly by a $17 million donation from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.
Mark Rodgers, the university’s architect, said the new spire will use the same blue tile that currently adorns another building in the complex. When complete, he said, the 46,000-square foot-addition will double the current size of the Korbel School.
Rodgers and the architectural firm Anderson Mason Dale designed the building. The Weitz Co. is the general contractor on the project.
The complex, located on the south side of campus midway between South High Street and University Boulevard, has a total estimated construction cost of $23.36 million.