UCCS breaks ground on $61.4M Hybl Center


Hybl Center

A “first of its kind” sports medicine and performance center breaks ground today, part of the City for Champions project.

UCCS, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and the city of Colorado Springs will celebrate the start of construction on the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center during a private ceremony this afternoon.

The 104,000-square-foot center is being built north of the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences and south of the Ent Center for the Arts.

The center will integrate “undergraduate and graduate education with clinical practice and research in a sports medicine and performance environment,” an Oct. 9 UCCS news release said.

In 2013, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved $16.8 million from the City for Champions project for the center. The general contractor is J.E. Dunn; architects are HOK/RTA. The center is expected to open in fall 2020.

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“Programs within the $61.4 million center are designed to accommodate those from all walks of life — professional to recreational athletes, youth and club sport participants, first responders, military personnel, wounded warriors and more,” the release said.

The center’s health care partner is Penrose-St. Francis Centura Health, which will operate an interdisciplinary sports medicine clinic including:

  • West clinical entry rendering
  • Orthopedic sports medicine
  • Primary care sports medicine
  • Athletic training
  • Laboratory services
  • Imaging
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Sub-specialty assessments
  • Performance testing
  • Assessment and training
  • Environmental stress training
  • Medically-based fitness
  • Athletes with disabilities
  • NGB sport performance services
  • Body composition and bone health services
  • Athletes with disabilities
  • Psychosocial aspects of health, performance and recovery

“Centura Health will collaborate with UCCS on a research bench to healthcare bedside approach,” Bill Lueck, co-executive director of the Hybl Center, said in the release. “Focusing on exercise as medicine will allow multidisciplinary teams to translate protocols developed with high-performance athletes into exercise prescriptions for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and even cancer.”

Center academics include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
  • Master of Science in Athletic Training
  • Master of Science Strength and Conditioning
  • Master of Science in Biology: Exercise Science track
  • Master of Science in Health Sciences: Sports Nutrition track
  • Planning future degrees include: physical therapy, human physiology and human nutrition

“I’m looking forward to watching the interaction between clinicians, researchers, teachers, and students,” Lueck said. “We are designing this space to mash-up two traditional functions, it’s going to be absolutely thrilling to see what happens.”

The college anticipates more than 400 patients and clients in addition to 1,400 students visiting the center daily.

“The new exercise science degree program is expected to grow to 1,000 students and the human anatomy and physiology program will expand to 500 by 2021,” the release said.

The center includes three centers of distinction:

Tactical and Occupational Performance
This center will provide a range of programs targeted at military, police, fire, rescue and other first responders, along with other civilian occupations with similar physical demands. Individual services include assessment, injury prevention, training, recovery and prevention.

Athletes and Individuals with Disabilities
This center will support testing and performance services that are adapted to the special needs of athletes including elite wounded warriors and para-athletes, and other athletes and individuals with physical challenges who endeavor to participate in sports competition or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Health and Performance in Extreme Environments
This center will address the demands of elite athletes, military, and recreationalists face in environmental extremes (heat/cold, hi/low humidity, hi/low oxygen). Areas of expertise include altitude training and performance, high-altitude illness and thermoregulation in environmental extremes.

“This will be a unique facility with programs that are national, and even international, in scope,” Steve Johnson, co-executive director, Hybl Center said in the release. “Our goal is to help put Colorado Springs on the map as the City for Champions.”

The Hybl Center is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and will focus on wellness, such as energy, interior comfort and water usage.

The 125,570-square foot clinical space will include:

  • Motion analysis area
  • Tactical and occupational scenario training area
  • Force analysis area
  • Outdoor training area
  • Resistance training area
  • High-ceiling, indoor open floor area
  • Physical therapy and athletic training area
  • Imaging (MRI, X-ray, DEXA)
  • Neurocognitive and subspecialty care
  • Orthopedic & primary care
  • Cardio training area
  • Group-training and multi-purpose training rooms (spinning, Tae-bo, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, meditation, martial arts, etc.)
  • Altitude/environmental room
  • Metabolic testing room
  • Body composition and bone health lab
  • Recovery clinic
  • Telehealth room

More than 42,000-square feet at the center will be for teaching and research activities and will include lecture halls, labs, classrooms, conference rooms and offices.

A learning café/bistro also is planned for the center of the facility and will have collaborative areas as well as a grab and go food services with a recovery bar.

“The way space in the Hybl Center has been specifically designed to bring people together is truly exceptional,” Johnson said. “As a result, clinicians, faculty and students with very different perspectives will be able to collaborate on new projects and research like never before.”

Physical therapists, clinicians and researchers from across the U.S. will be brought in to provide mentors for students while helping local residents achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles, the release said.

“We’re putting excellent people in a position where they can work with other excellent people to do extraordinary work,” Lueck said.


  1. How wonderful to see a brilliant idea that was fertilized by Margaret Sabin coming to fruition. There’s no one like her / her vision for improving the health of the community. Colorado Springs is very blessed to have her.

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