Dear Roadrunners,  

I hope everyone is enjoying spring break this week. While work continues for many faculty and staff members and student employees, I hope the slower pace has been a welcome respite as we prepare for the final portion of the semester and our upcoming Commencement ceremonies.   

This week, I’m excited to provide an update on a campus-improvement project and a reminder on Covid-19 care and coverage. As always, thanks for reading, and look for more updates on campus construction and renovations in the April 6 edition of the Early Bird.  

Tivoli Quad gets a makeover 

Beginning Friday, 74,500 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass sod will be removed from the Tivoli Quad (east and adjacent to the Tivoli Student Union) and replaced with a 90/10 fescue grass blend that is more heat- and drought-tolerant and better withstands foot traffic. Work will continue through May 10, and the Quad will be fenced off throughout the project. 

Changes to Covid-19 coverage, sick leave 

As the Covid-19 pandemic transitions to the endemic stage, with the official Public Health Emergency ending May 11, the Health Center at Auraria urges Roadrunners to stay vigilant and informed on Covid-19 and flu precautions/protocols: 

  • Continue monitoring for symptoms. 
  • Practice effective hand-washing. 
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.  

The end of the PHE will also signify changes to Emergency Paid Sick Leave and health-insurance coverage for Covid-19 infection-related services. For more information, review the Early Bird article on the ending of federal emergency leave.  

Access to treatment and vaccines will generally not be affected. However, if you need Covid-19 testing or treatment, confirm your benefits, including the cost of testing and treatment, with your insurance company and medical provider. 

Congress will end the additional federal funding for state Medicaid programs, effective March 31. Many Coloradans who are covered by Health First Colorado (Medicaid) will be asked to reverify eligibility for the program. More information can be found at or by logging in to the member page at 

If it has been at least six months since you received a bivalent booster, you can request a second bivalent booster from your medical provider or a pharmacy. Individuals who have completed a primary Covid-19 vaccine series but who have never received a bivalent booster can also request a booster from their medical provider or pharmacy. 

For more information, visit the Health Center at Auraria website at or call 303-615-9999 for assistance. 

Speer Boulevard construction to close lanes, change pedestrian access 

Preventive maintenance work is underway on three bridges along Speer Boulevard and will continue through spring 2024. Drivers should anticipate lane closures on Speer between Interstate 25 and Wewatta Street. The work will alternate between northbound and southbound travel, with two of four travel lanes kept open. 

Message boards will be in place to alert drivers. Sidewalk closures will reroute pedestrians. Sign up for project updates by emailing [email protected]. Information will also be posted online. 

Other updates 

Finally, this week marks the beginning of Ramadan, a religious celebration in Islam of fasting, prayer and service. As many of our colleagues will abstain from any food or water from sunrise to sundown during this month, please be thoughtful as you go about your day. It can be a daunting challenge for our teammates to endure for a month! And for those who observe, “Ramadan Mubarak!” 

Thank you again for staying up to date on all the exciting things happening at MSU Denver.   


Larry Sampler, chief operating officer, vice president for Administration