Coal Ridge High shaping up nicely |

Coal Ridge High shaping up nicely

Amanda Holt MillerWestern Garfield County Staff
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonRe-2 superintendent Gary Pack checks out the view from the new media center at Coal Ridge High School during a tour of the school Wednesday. Re-2 will be given the keys to the school from the builder on June 1.

The new Coal Ridge High School wants for little more than desks and students to fill them. The teachers are hired, and construction is on schedule.The school opens Aug. 16. An open house July 29 will offer community members a sneak preview of the state-of-the-art building.Each classroom in the school is equipped with a digital projection system and a TV. The standard classrooms are 860 square feet, which is comparable to rooms at Rifle High School, which range between 820 and 900 square feet. The labs at Coal Ridge, however, are significantly bigger.”They’re actually designed to be labs,” said Craig Jay, the director of maintenance for Coal Ridge. That means the rooms are big enough to accommodate different workstations and are equipped with extra tools.

There are 22 classrooms in the building.The building, which exceeds 114,000 square feet, can comfortably accommodate more than 1,000 students in the hallways and common area. There are enough classrooms for only 500 students, but the school is built so that more rooms can be added easily.The music room is equipped with two soundproof recording rooms.The gymnasium at the school has electronically retractable basketball hoops and a divider curtain so the gym can be split into two sections. The motorized bleachers seat 975.

The school also includes an auxiliary gym with a climbing wall, a weight room and a tech lab that wasn’t part of the original plan.When Garfield School District Re-2 bid its Coal Ridge project, the economy was not as good as it is now. The district is paying $108 per square foot when the cheapest it would be able to find now would be about $125 per square foot, said Gary Pack, the district superintendent.”That gave us about an extra $800,000 to work with,” Jay said. “It’s better to get as much square footage as possible if you have the money.”That’s why the district added so many extras to the building.

There are still a few things planned for the school’s future that are not currently included. The building is in phase one right now and will have a football field, but not a track, baseball field or soccer field. Those things are included in plans for phase two, which also includes an auditorium and more classrooms. Phase two would require another bond.The district officially gains possession of the school June 1. That’s when the builder hands over the keys. That’s also when the district will begin furnishing the building.”Furniture and fixtures,” Jay said. “If you hold the building upside down and shake it, anything that falls out is furniture and fixtures.”He said $2.1 million is set aside for those items. The school should be fully finished and ready for the open house July 29.

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