The University of Colorado Boulder took another giant leap toward space Thursday with the approval by the CU Board of Regents for construction of an $82.5 million, 139,000-square-foot aerospace engineering sciences building.

First conceived in 2008 as an addition to CU's Engineering Center, the new building will house CU Boulder's Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences.

In January, Ann Smead and her husband, Michael Byram, donated $10 million to the school, adding to a capital campaign well under way for the project and sponsorship by Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT).

Smead's former husband, the late H.J. "Joe" Smead, was president and CEO of Kaiser Aerospace and Electronics Corp. from 1974 to 2000. H.J. Smead held a bachelor's degree from CU Boulder, as well as a master's from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue. H.J. Smead died in Vail in 2003.

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