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CMU on its way to be the first university in America to be heated and cooled by geo-exchange technology

June 7 marks a significant milestone in Colorado Mesa University's journey towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. Governor Jared Polis joined CMU Trustee Chair Tim Fry, Representative Rick Taggart, Senator Janice Rich, the CMU community and Shaw Construction to celebrate the groundbreaking expansion of the university's already impressive geo-exchange system, the largest in Colorado and the Intermountain West.

CMU's geo-exchange system, which currently connects 16 buildings—covering approximately 70% of the campus—plays a crucial role in reducing the university's carbon footprint. By cutting down approximately 9,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, the system demonstrates CMU's commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

With the support of Governor Polis and a generous grant from The Colorado Energy Office Geothermal Energy Grant, CMU is now set to extend this innovative system. The expansion includes connecting The Fine Arts Building and initiating design work to later integrate one of the residence halls. This project and other additional construction phases over the next few years aims to eventually connect 100% of the campus to the geo-exchange system, further solidifying CMU's leadership in green energy solutions.


The benefits of this geo-exchange system extend beyond environmental impact. By significantly reducing energy costs—saving millions of dollars each year—CMU is able to keep tuition affordable. These savings directly support the CMU Promise, additional merit aid, more scholarships, and other cost-saving initiatives that benefit students.

Since the inception of CMU's geo-exchange system in 2008, the university has made steady progress. With Governor Polis’ steadfast support of CMU’s initiative and his work to raise awareness about the power of geothermal technology, Polis has also played a crucial role helping to expand the university's underground infrastructure. Today's groundbreaking ceremony marks another step towards CMU's goal of heating and cooling the entire campus with geo-exchange technology.

The geo-exchange system at CMU not only supports the university's mission of providing affordable education but also ensures that students learn in an environment powered by cutting-edge, sustainable technology. As Governor Polis and other distinguished guests grabbed their shovels to officially break ground on this new phase of the geo-exchange expansion, the future of a greener, more sustainable CMU became even brighter.



Written by Staff