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GSHS will be ready by first bell

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. For any students hoping school might be canceled due to construction, the new Glenwood Springs High School should be a disappointment. It’s expected to be ready to go in time for classes. The academic wing of the improved Glenwood Springs High School will be complete by the first day of school on Sept. 4, said Roaring Fork School District Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall.”We’re on schedule for GSHS and there shouldn’t be any issues,” she said. “The whole academic wing you can see from Grand Avenue will be ready to go when school starts.”Work will be ongoing on other parts of the school including a new gymnasium, arts wing and auditorium. The former arts and science wings and administrative offices near 14th Street were recently demolished. The old gym will become an auxiliary gym.The phased construction project is expected to be complete in January or February of 2008. It will add about 38,000 square feet of new space plus 4.5 additional acres of land.The new building will be more energy efficient, fitted for wireless Internet service and will have fewer points of entry, to increase security. It’s designed to take full advantage of natural light and surrounding views with a wall of glass to the north and four projecting hallways to the south. The new south-facing main entrance will feature a dramatic glassed front with high, curving walls to either side, according to the RFSD.The $38.1 million GSHS project will be the last from an $86 million voter-approved bond package. Portions of the building that were completed in 1996 with 1993 bond funding will not be demolished. About 30,000 square feet of space will be reused in some way in the new design.The school’s current library and rounded entranceway will be reconfigured into the new building design. The auditorium will be converted into a small black box theater and a weight room. The school’s current auxiliary gym will be converted into an auditorium space, complete with wings and dressing rooms, to open in early 2008. It will be available for public performances once it opens, according to the RFSD.The original high school opened in 1953 as a small, one-story building to serve around 150 students. It was added on to or renovated five times between 1962 and 1995.Remodeling work at the old Roaring Fork High School building was delayed by a discovery of asbestos. Workers found it while tearing down walls to expand some of the classrooms. The RFSD said it was spending about $1.1 million for removal. Middle-schoolers set to move into that building and Bridges students set to move into the old middle school building will have to wait until a month or so after the first day of school.Carbondale Middle School will open for classes in the current middle school building on Sept. 4 and move to the old high school once the work is complete. Haptonstall couldn’t estimate a date when work would be completed, but said the delay might be around six weeks long.Asbestos problems will also delay occupancy by the Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers, the district Information Technology Department and Computers 4 Kids, which also planned to move into the middle school.The new $18 million Roaring Fork High School facility is nearly complete and will be ready by the first day of school, Haptonstall said.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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