Main Content Area

Aims Welcome Center Recognized as One of the Top Building Projects in Colorado

Aims Community College’s Welcome Center won Silver in the ACE  Best General Contractor Building Project ($40 - $70 Million) category by Associated General Contractors of Colorado. The contractor on the project, Fransen Pittman, applied for and won the award. Peers in the construction industry vote on the ACE awards. The Welcome Center beat out Bronze recipient Meow Wolf Convergence Station in Denver and placed second to Lone Rock Retreat in Bailey.

Group photo of Welcome Center project team with the award in hand.
Welcome Center project team at the ACE Awards Gala, November 11, 2022. Pictured from left to right: Larry Fiedler, Tanner DeWitt, David Mondt, Michael Millsapps, Brady Fountain, David Frauenfelder, Jon Clark, Jacob Balthazor, Crystall Byrd and Ty Bakel. Participants dressed for the theme of bedazzled western.

Aims Facilities and Operations Executive Director Michael Millsapps said, “To be recognized by construction industry peers says it all. It continues to convey that community colleges are an important part of the communities they serve and the industry.” He noted that the Aims Welcome Center was the only community college building to receive an award this year.

Fransen Pittman Senior Project Manager, Brady Fountain, said, “To be recognized by industry peers is the greatest compliment we can get as a company.” This was recognition for all our employees’ hard work and commitment to constructing great buildings.”

Fountain acknowledged the teamwork among Aims, Fransen Pittman and the architects at Hord Coplan Macht. “Without the team approach we took, this building would not have been as great of a success as it was. This was a fun team with great camaraderie and a unified purpose. Aims staff made sure the project was successful by choosing the partners they believed in and they wanted this to be the jewel of Aims for generations to come.  They truly fostered a team atmosphere, so we all succeeded.”

Millsapps also emphasized the synergy of the group. “The collaboration with the project team from the beginning was a clear path to a special and unique construction project. Every step of the way, this project did not disappoint. The design created many challenges, all confronted with innovation and optimism.”

Another special part of the Welcome Center project team included Aims students studying construction management, providing them with experience and jobs. Fransen Pittman hired several interns from Aims during construction and brought three interns on as full-time employees.

About the Welcome Center

The Welcome Center on the Greeley Campus offers access to student services in one central location. The building also features an auditorium, 800 capacity ballroom, executive-level conference space, and outdoor patios with western views of the Front Range. The Welcome Center is designed to meet the needs of the next generation of students and the community.

“From concept to reality, the Welcome Center checked all the boxes; from welcoming new students to hosting them at graduation, it has always been a full-circle approach,” Millsapps said. The 105,720-square-foot has many unique features:

  • A story wall display that tells the history of Aims, with room to grow
  • The only escalator in Weld County
  • An auditorium lighting system designed by a Hollywood studio
  • A stage back wall with a glass garage door that can open to the outdoor atrium
  • Outdoor patio space with a courtyard, fire pit and plenty of seating
  • Skyboxes that double as conference rooms with closable glass and blackout curtains
  • Large west-facing windows with views of the Rocky Mountains
  • A sky deck with an expansive view of Weld County

“This building stands out for the obvious reason that there is nothing that looks like it in Greeley. It is functional but elegant. This building was designed to serve the Aims community with style,” Fountain said. 

Learn more about the Welcome Center at aims.edu/welcome-center