CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

A history of CSU's building and grounds from 1870 to the present.

B. W. Pickett Equine Center/Equine Teaching and Research Center, 1986-

Aerial view of a large building with a white roof surrounded by a parking lot, other structures, and a holding pond.

B.W. Pickett Equine Center and the Animal Reproduction Biotechnology Lab complex, 2003

From CSU's Sense of Place:  A Campus History of Colorado's Land-Grant University, by James E. Hansen, Gordon A. Hazard, and Linda M. Meyer.  Fort Collins, CO:  Colorado State University, 2018.

Architect – Port-A-Stall (Adams-Atkinson Arena)

735 South Overland Trail Road

On September 11, 1983, the plan to build a world-class, state-of-the-art center for equine studies began with a formal groundbreaking ceremony using a pair of Belgian draft horses pulling an antique plow. Construction began on the new Equine Teaching and Research Center that would cost an estimated $5.2 million. Efforts to raise all of this money continued under the leadership of Dr. Bill W. Pickett as construction progressed.

The main building contained a 150’ x 300’ indoor arena equipped with seating for 2,000 spectators, concession stands, ticket booths, faculty offices, and a multimedia classroom. Other facilities at the Center include an outdoor riding arena, paddocks, and support sheds. On September 14, 1986, the new CSU Equine Teaching and Research Center was dedicated in an opening ceremony. 

In 1994, a new building was added to the complex. A large Port-A-Stall building had been disassembled, transported, and reconstructed on the grounds during the summer of 1994. Formally dedicated on October 1, 1994, the “Adams-Atkinson Arena” was originally built by Bud Adams in Scottsdale, Arizona. In June 1993, Bud and Jo Adams donated the building to the University. The moving and reconstruction costs of the facility were covered by a gift from Ken Atkinson. The addition of the Adams-Atkinson Arena provided an indoor arena, 36 box stalls, offices, veterinary treatment areas, wash and grooming racks, and a classroom with an arena viewing area.

In December 2000, the CSU Equine Teaching and Research Center was renamed to honor Professor Bill W. Pickett. Dr. Pickett was the director of the Equine Science Program.  In the early 1980s he was tasked by the President’s Office with raising $5 million in private funds to build the facility. In a 2010 interview, Dr. Pickett said he took on the assignment from President Philip Austin knowing he had never done any kind of fund raising before this time. He spent countless hours contacting and developing relationships with equine related business and private horse owners to successfully build a facility that was bigger and better than originally planned.

During an average week, the arena is primarily used to teach English and Western riding, with about 200 students each semester. On weekends it often serves as host to various groups including horse shows, rodeos, and public exhibitions. An outdoor rodeo practice arena was built in recent years to support the CSU Rodeo Club. Renovations made over the years include the Kelley Bartlett Conference room and student lounge.

 

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 24, 1981, page 6-2 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 28, 1983, page 16, vol. XCI, number 123.

Colorado State University Comment, September 22, 1983, page 1, vol. 14, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 20, 1983, page 2, vol. XCII, number 57.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 12, 1985, page 12.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, October 24, 1985, page 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 2, 1986, page 7, vol. 94, number 155.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 30, 1986, page 1, vol. 95, number 2.

State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Interview, June 1986, page 21.

Colorado State University Comment, September 4, 1986, pages 1 and 4, vol. 17, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 15, 1986, pages 6 and 7, vol. 95, number 28.

1987 Silver Spruce yearbook, page 176, vol. 82.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 28, 1988, page 6, vol. 96, number 122.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 5, 1988, page 8, vol. 97, number 49.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 22, 1989, page 1, vol. 97, number 132.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 23, 1989, page 1, vol. 97, issue 133.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 8, 1989, page 6, vol. 98, number 83.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 26, 1990, pages 12-13, vol. 98, number 125.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 9, 1990, pages16 and 17, vol. 98, number 135.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 28, 1990, page 3, vol. 98, number 127.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 25, 1990, pages 1 and 3, vol. 98, number 157.

Comment, September 10, 1992, page 3, vol. 23, number 2.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 14, 1993.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 3, 1994.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 14, 1994, page 5, vol. 103, number 33.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 4, 1994, page 3, vol. 103, number 47.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 10, 1996, page 3, vol. 104, issue 135.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 16, 1996, page 1, vol. 104, issue 139.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, July 3, 1996, page 1, vol. 104, issue 157.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 28, 1997, page 1, vol. 106, issue 45.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 3, 1997, page 3, vol. 106, issue 51.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 2, 1999, page 1, vol. 107, number 124.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 5, 1999.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 8, 1999.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 4, 2000, page 3, vol. 109, number 71.

Comment, December 7, 2000, page 4, vol. 31, number 15.

Colorado State University Alumni, spring 2001, March 23, 2001, number 28, page 5.

Comment, September 13, 2001, page 3, vol. 32, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, August 27, 2002, page 5, vol. 111, number 12.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 1, 2002, page 3, vol. 111, number 36.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, July 16, 2003, page 5, vol. 111, number 156.

“Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University - A Century of Service to the Livestock Industry 1903 – 2003” by Dr. John Matsushima and Animal Department Staff, 2004, pages 5 and 55.

Comment, August 26, 2004, page 4, vol. 35, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 20, 2004, pages 1 and 3, vol. 113, number 43.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 1, 2004, page 12, vol. 113, number 51.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 5, 2007, pages 1 and 8, vol. 116, number 67.

“Sex, Science, and Survival in Academe – A History of the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory at Colorado State University” by B. W. Pickett and Colleagues, 2012, pp 104 – 129.

Interview with Roy W. Lilley, ’52, October 3, 2016.

Telephone interview with B. W. Pickett Equine Center staff was conducted on October 4, 2016.

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