Aug 18, 2014 8:53 PM by Greg Dingrando
COLORADO SPRINGS - Just in time for the school year, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is unveiling a major and unique addition to its campus.
It's a two for one - a giant parking garage complete with a rooftop field.
Parking at UCCS has always been a problem, especially with the massive growth in enrollment. It's up 35% over the past 10 years, but the part of this project that's getting most of the attention is the field.
The university said timing on the 23-million dollar project getting finished couldn't be better.
"We had to get it ready. Had to open, said UCCS Vice Chancellor Susan Szpyrka.
She said they had to because 11,000 students are about to flood onto campus, and the students will be the first to tell you the 1,234 new spots are desperately needed.
"Parking is a huge problem on campus," said senior Mia Pino.
But most people who turned out for the ribbon cutting didn't show up to see some parking spots. They came out to see the new field.
"Look at it. Its amazing. You can't get anything in Colorado like this," said senior Maryanne Fisco.
The rough terrain of the UCCS campus has made it difficult for intramural and club sports like rugby to find a place to play. The new field will not only help solve that problem, it could get more people to play.
"Previously our fields have been down the hill about a mile away. The visibility of this and proximity to housing I think we're anticipating a bump in participation in intramurals and club sports," said Matt Gaden with the UCCS Recreations Department.
But this isn't just your average field. Whatever sport you're playing, you'll be doing it with one of the best views in town.
"You can see Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the rest of the city, and all the mountains. Its incredible, I love it," said Fisco.
"Evening intramurals with the sun setting behind Pikes Peak is going to be a spectacular scene," said Gaden.
It's a scene the university fully intends to showcase to keep their growing trend going.
"Definitely gives the campus a bit of a pop. It's a wow moment for many people. It certainly is for us and we're looking forward to it," said Szpyrka
They are still putting the finishing touches on the field including a 15 foot high net they'll have along the edge of the field to keep balls from flying off the top and down onto Austin Bluffs.
UCCS also officially opened up a $14.5-million office building.