High school to roll out the rock in new location | PostIndependent.com

High school to roll out the rock in new location

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Generations of Demon tradition and school spirit were moved at Glenwood Springs High School.The “senior rock” was recently moved to an area further from public view largely for aesthetic purposes, according to Principal Paul Freeman. “One imperative is that the landscape has changed around the school,” Freeman said of the ongoing construction. “The rock would not sit attractively in the new parking lot the way that it’s been designed.”He said the powerful tradition of painting the rock means a lot to current students and generations of past students, but the rock is not necessarily an aesthetic object to the rest of the community. However, Freeman said he has received only two complaints about the rock in his four years at the building.”Before, it sat there perfectly happy on a piece of rather scrappy ground not doing any harm,” Freeman said. “Under the much more tightly planned new landscape it didn’t fit there.”

“There was sort of a wilderness area where the rock sat before that was neither boundary nor parking lot,” Freeman said. “It was just a gravelly mess really. We have a duty to be good neighbors and we should present surroundings that are as attractive as possible. … If it were down to me we would have lavish gardens at the same scale as the botanic gardens in Denver.”The rock now sits on the west side of the campus between the building and the athletic fields. It hasn’t been chipped or damaged, as far as Freeman knows.Relocation of the senior rock is part of bigger changes.Administrators have said reconstruction of the high school is going as planned and should be ready for the first day of school Sept. 4. Reconstruction at GSHS was done mainly to replace aging infrastructure, Freeman said.”We were at the point in the old building where plugging in one additional computer would cause a circuit breaker to throw and have part of the building plunged into darkness,” Freeman said.The new academic wing, adding four classrooms, will be ready to go Sept. 4. The new gym, new auditorium and new theater won’t be complete until early next year. Freeman said the school will have an open house after that, probably in March. Anyone wanting to view the school before that can call him at 384-5551 or 948-0188. GSHS will use the existing gym and plans to use some Glenwood Springs Middle School facilities to work around the construction.

Enrollment isn’t final but is expected to be around 670 this fall. The new building’s capacity is about 800 students. Freeman said new classrooms could easily be added in the future at the ends of projecting hallways to accommodate the building’s core capacity of around 1,000 students.Freeman said he was amused by some comments on the http://www.postindependent.com Web site. In a recent story regarding a new turn lane at the school, one comment said the building looks like a prison.”It’s very wide of the mark because this is a light and airy building,” Freeman said.The architecture incorporates lots of glass, mostly on the west side of the building as well as the north. Extensive glass wasn’t used on the side facing Grand Avenue, Freeman said, because of noise from the highway and the view is not as good on that side.Another comment said views of the horizon west from Grand Avenue had been diminished.

“That’s very wide of the mark because a whole view corridor has been opened up between the Van Rand Center and the high school,” Freeman said.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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