With the help of the Rockies' founding owner, Mesa State College officially announced it's capital campaign to raise money for the expansion of Saunders Field House.
As Grand Junction continues to grow, and more people look for opportunity in the Western Slope, Mesa State President Tim Foster says it's up to the college to open those doors. He says the only way they can do that is by expanding.
"You want to do quality programs, quality facilities, and quality people," said Foster. "It elevates everything we do."
With the health sector booming, the college has been working hard to boost its program by bringing in state-of-the-art classrooms and cutting edge technology to a renovated Saunders Field House, so it can stay competitive with other schools in the state.
"We know that competition for college students is tough," said Glen Gallegos, Chairman of the Mesa State Board of Trustees. "We're going to need to have the best in order to get them to continue coming to Mesa."
Rockies Chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort was in town Tuesday afternoon to give Mesa State $500,000 to go towards the Saunders project. He says he wanted to give the college this money so it can better serve a community that truly supports their school.
Health Sciences students at Mesa State say they're glad the Monfort family could help out.
"For them to say that we're getting this brand new building with all this new stuff, it will definitely bring in a lot more students and a great program," said Kinesiology major Angela Gabriel.
The Saunders Field House will feature a Monfort Human Performances Lab, one of only three in the state of Colorado. It will be used to help student athletes and community members understand their bodies better and keep them healthy.
It will also give Health Science students a chance to learn with the most modern technologies.
"This gift and the community support we've received so far is really taking us into the next era of preparing our health care practitioners and the growth of our Health Sciences program," said Kristy Reuss, Head of the Mesa State Health Sciences Department.
It's a combination that is building a brighter future at Mesa State.
"If you're not moving foward, you're falling behind," said Foster.
Mesa State says it hopes to raise 6 million dollars during the capital campaign. 3.5 million dollars have already been raised.