This weekend, Civic Center will officially have a new hub with the opening of the $31 million transit station. Closed for construction since summer of last year, the Civic Center Station does not have all the bells and whistles you’d find at other transit areas such as Union Station or your average Light Rail stop. Most noticeably, the space is void of retail options and new public art (although there are colored tiles and a rededicated oversized-size chess pieces that double as tables and benches). According to Richard Rost, manager of facilities engineering, the utilitarian hub is meant to be a place in motion rather than that of gathering. That may be due to the expected 15,000 passengers a day and 18 routes the station will service — making it one of the busiest transit areas in the city.
But what it lacks in amenities, it makes up for in security and efficiency. First off, the entire station was shifted so it could be diagonal with Cheyenne — a side street. Rost explained this will allow buses to exit the station even when Colfax is closed — which will be particularly useful during the many Civic Center events. Second, the station has over 120 security cameras, which are present at almost every turn. The space itself is also more transparent with large windows lining the interior of the station — resulting in a well lit and safer atmosphere. Outside, the station mirrors this openness with sparse design — save for the boomerang-shaped canopy. Similar to what you’d see at Denver International Airport and Union Station, the canopy was mirrored off of organic shapes and will light up at night. Other noteworthy design features include 1,900 isolation rubber cushion, similar to giant hockey pucks, placed under the interior bays to reduce noise and vibration and the use of 170,00 cubic feet of “geofoam” used as a lightweight construction filler.
Currently, the opening celebrations are set to take place this Friday, December 15 from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will feature a commemoration ceremony, a public tour of the facility and light refreshments.
All photography by Kyle Cooper.