Designing Roaring Fork High keeping community in mind |

Designing Roaring Fork High keeping community in mind

Even though retiring principal Wendy Moore will not be an administrator inside the new Roaring Fork High School come fall 2006, she is excited to be part of the community-based group helping plan the future facility.”I love the whole prospect of designing a school,” Moore said. “The construction projects in Carbondale are the vision of the future of the community. The school is already the center of the community, and I think the new school will be even more so.”Moore said the school is being designed with the town in mind in terms of access and community use. For example, Carbondale currently has no large public room to host events such as athletic banquets or gala fund-raisers, so the new school could incorporate a top-quality combined cafeteria dining and auditorium performance space.The high school will be designed by LKA Partners architects, an experienced Colorado firm that also designed Grand Valley High School in Parachute. Guiding LKA is the 20-member Design Advisory Group made up of teachers, staff, students and community members. The group has been working since January discussing visions and goals, touring other regional schools and hosting a public open house to gather input. Incoming principal Dale Parker and Moore have met with the student council and with each teacher to talk about desires for the school. On the drawing board are a second gym, a centrally located media center, a distinct visitor parking area and small gathering spaces throughout the building for students to talk or work on projects.Student DAG member Ashley Jammaron, a junior, said the school should maintain an inviting, homey feel and a size that looks like it “belongs to a small town.””We want to make the school aesthetically pleasing and look like it’s a fun place to go,” Jammaron said. Painting walls school colors could add character to the new building, and displaying the history of the school and its former students is key, the junior said.The DAG team also is working to incorporate flexible and sustainable building concepts that were outlined through work with educational consultants who visited the district this winter. A two-day educational facilities workshop resulted in 16 non-negotiable district design guidelines ranging from allowing “multiple modes of teaching and learning with flexibility and agility” to encouraging a “culture of collaboration and informal learning opportunities.”Important sustainable design issues include day lighting, indoor air quality, acoustics, energy and water conservation, use of durable materials, and low-maintenance and low-water-use landscaping.The DAG meetings are open to the public. The next discussion will include review of potential footprints for the high school on the open site on the south end of town. The group hopes to narrow the concepts to three top options. The meeting will take place from 3:30-6 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the RFHS media center. For questions or to submit any comments, contact Moore at 384-5757 or General updates about the district’s construction projects are available online at via the “Construction News” link.Suzie Romig is the RFSD’s public information officer.

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