Community input is helping shape new Glenwood Springs High School
At the 65 percent mark in the planning process, the conceptual design for the new Glenwood Springs High School is taking shape as a facility that has community needs in mind.Ranging from a possible joint school-county library to a DECA boardroom-style meeting place off the lobby, the plan for the new school has kept architects and Design Advisory Group members hard at work meeting community concerns. Although various issues from parking to a possible city pocket park are still being worked out, the vision for the school will carry it 50 years into the future with flexible classroom spaces for learning and practical fixes to address current deficiencies.To make the most efficient use of the downtown site, the spine of the building will be oriented from west to east in order to accommodate elevation changes on the site, to honor the commitment to use 30,000 square feet of existing building and to take advantage of day lighting for all classrooms and southern exposure for outdoor learning plazas.When you look at relationships of spaces within the building and the educational functions of the building, thats what dictated the orientation, principal Mike Wells said.The sloping site makes a design possible with three distinct levels, Wells said, including a two-story academic wing and a ground-level section for arts, athletics and administration. The public entrance visible from Grand Avenue will incorporate a modern architectural design with dramatic glass accents. In front of the school would be a small park and learning plaza, as well as a small parking area for high school staff, visitors and patrons of the proposed two-story library.Much of the new design addresses current problems at the school. Hallways will be bright and wide, with student lockers recessed on one side. A kitchen and modern commons area will be added so the school gains the ability for students to eat lunch on campus.As physical education classes evolve toward teaching lifetime wellness, a new fitness and wrestling room will be added in what was the schools original 1950s library. The administrative area will be at the southern public entrance to help monitor and direct visitors.In order to reuse the middle section of the current school, a bit of architectural musical chairs is planned. The current main gym will become the auxiliary gym. The auxiliary gym will become a 550-seat theater using the original auditorium seating. The old auditorium will be divided as part rehearsal space and part weight room. The current library will be reused as other space. Construction will create a new, 1,100-seat main gym separated from the theater so that dual practices or events may be possible. In response to neighborhood concerns, student parking along 14th Street will be divided into multiple smaller lots and buffered with landscaping.Architects say the high schools conceptual design will be completed by the end of June with design development finalized in September. Actual construction work should begin in January. For questions, call the school district at 384-6000.Suzie Romig is the RFSDs public information officer.
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