Community College of Denver is about to get its first brand-new building of its own.

Mayor Michael Hancock and a cast of higher education luminaries were on hand today to break ground on a four-story, 87,000-square-foot building that will house admissions, financial aid, academic advisement and testing offices as well as classrooms, at Seventh Street and Colfax Avenue on the downtown Auraria campus.

The $40 million building is being paid for through an increase in student fees - which CCD students approved in 2010 - and college reserves. The building is designed to be energy efficient, with radiant floors, a green roof and a setting that takes advantage of natural light.

Currently, CCD classes and offices are in four Auraria campus buildings, several of which date to the campus opening in the 1970s. The new building will occupy the site of a former parking lot, but a CCD spokeswoman said two newly constructed lots will make up for the lost parking spaces.

Enrollment at CCD has soared in recent years, from 5,304 in the fall of 2006 to 8,390 in fall, 2010.