Glenwood Springs High School construction nears completion |

Glenwood Springs High School construction nears completion

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Judy Haptonstall gets “very excited” when she looks out her office window and sees the new asphalt for the Glenwood Springs High School parking lot.

Landscapers worked on the practice field last week, one of the few remaining jobs to be completed.

But this August, just after the start of the school year, it will all be completed, according to RFSD Superintendent Haptonstall. And that makes her happy.

“It will be very nice to have all the construction completed,” she said.

Renovations to the school were expected to be completed by the 2008-09 school year but hit a few snags along the way. The first phase of the project, the academic wing, opened in the fall of 2007 and didn’t pose any educational obstacles for students. Over the 2007-08 school year the construction was delayed slightly, but the school’s cafeteria and gymnasium were completed.

“You’re never done as soon as you want to be,” Haptonstall said. “But just to have those additions finished has made a huge impact on the school.”

Recently, the students’ entrance on the north side of the building has been completed, all the floors have been laid and the parking lot is paved, painted and ready for vehicles. Besides some minor finishing touches, all that is left to complete on the $38.1 million renovation is the auditorium and the athletic practice field to the west of the new parking lot, according to Haptonstall.

However, the seating for the auditorium won’t be in until August, but that should wrap up the entire project.

All in all, the renovations added 38,000 square feet to the facility.

“This one is really not that much behind schedule,” Haptonstall said. “It was pretty much little things like stuff not coming in when we ordered it that set us back. But the key piece for us was getting the classrooms ready for people in the fall, and we did that.”

Shannon Pelland, assistant superintendent of business services for RFSD, is happy to be seeing the end of the road with the GSHS project, too. But she insists that it’s not been as troublesome of a project as it may seem. It’s more the end to a long list of renovations and projects that is coming to an end.

“We really bit off a lot,” Pelland said. “It’s this one project combined with everything else that’s made it difficult.”

Since the $86 million bond passed in 2004, RFSD has completed a construction of a new Basalt Elementary School, renovated Basalt Middle School and added an educational wing to Basalt High School in 2006. There were also renovations to Crystal River Elementary in Carbondale, and the old Roaring Fork High School was converted into a home for the districtwide Bridges High School. The Carbondale Middle School campus was planned to become home to a districtwide support facility to centralize departments such as technology and maintenance but was held up by asbestos abatement. Other renovations to Sopris and Glenwood Springs Elementary were completed as well.

“Really, it was almost every school in the district,” Pelland said. “It was really just a lot to take on at one time.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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