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Denver Botanic Gardens breaks ground on Freyer - Newman Center
The Freyer - Newman Center will enhance the fabric of the Cheesman Park neighborhood and the York St.-facing coffee shop will provide a community gathering place.

DENVER, COLO.- Denver Botanic Gardens broke ground yesterday on the Freyer - Newman Center, the final part of a four-phase Master Development Plan that began in 2007. The LEED GOLD building, designed by Denver’s Davis Partnership Architects, will provide more accessible and enriching public engagement with an auditorium, four art galleries, a new library, six classrooms, a coffee shop and 144 more parking spots. Important plant science research and conservation efforts will grow with more advanced laboratories and larger herbaria for vascular plants, mushrooms and slime molds. A children’s zone will be created in the Boettcher Memorial Center’s Mitchell Hall. The $42 million project – $37.5 million for the Freyer - Newman Center and $4.5 million for the renovation of the Boettcher Memorial Center – is slated for completion in late 2019.

“As one of the first 2017 General Obligation Bond-supported projects to break ground, the Freyer - Newman Center is an outstanding example of how these community approved investments can move a project to reality and enhance our world-class museums and culturals,” says Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Institutions like Denver Botanic Gardens provide opportunities for our residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds to learn, have fun and explore together. I’m looking forward to the opening of this new center and the wonderful experiences it will bring to the Gardens.”

Brian Vogt, CEO of Denver Botanic Gardens adds, “We are all filled with gratitude as we begin the final chapter of our Master Development Plan with this stellar project. Deep appreciation goes to Denver voters for their support of the 2017 General Obligation Bond and to all of the donors, designers, builders, neighbors, staff and volunteers who are taking us to the finish line.”

The Freyer - Newman Center will enhance the fabric of the Cheesman Park neighborhood and the York St.-facing coffee shop will provide a community gathering place. Pieces of the Gardens’ founding days will live and grow outside the building by way of a cutting from a Juniperus virginiana ‘Carnaertii’ tree that was planted by the Gardens at the original location alongside Denver Museum of Nature and Science. In November 2017 voters approved $18 million in funding for the project through the city’s $937 million General Obligation Bond initiative and $24 million came from private gifts. In recognition of lead gifts from Ginny and John Freyer and Robert and Judi Newman, the building will be named the Freyer - Newman Center.

Speakers at the event: Dick Clark, board chair; Brian Vogt, Denver Botanic Gardens CEO; Bob and Judi Newman, naming donors; John and Ginny Freyer, naming donors; Brendan Hanlon, CFO, Deputy Mayor, City & County of Denver; Happy Haynes, Parks & Recreation executive director; Wayne New, Councilman, District 10; David Daniel, Davis Partnership Architects; Roger Treichler, GH Phipps Construction; Allyson Mendenhall, mayoral trustee to the Gardens board; Jandel Allen-Davis, past board chair; Jerry Ladd, past board chair and Jennifer Ramp-Neale, Denver Botanic Gardens director of research and conservation.

The Gardens is a unique living museum where horticulture, plant conservation and preservation, mycology, art, education and special events unite to document human relationships with plants and the larger environment. The Freyer - Newman Center will house each of these programmatic elements in a single building, enhancing the visitor experience. The building will be erected by GH Phipps Construction.

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