Riverview families get a sneak preview of new school
An opportunity to teach students in both English and Spanish in a projects-based learning environment is a “dream come true” for Riverview School first-grade teacher Brittany Rose.
“It’s everything that the community asked for, and it’s everything that a teacher could hope to have,” Rose said during a grand-opening celebration and community open house Thursday evening at the brand new preK-8 neighborhood school that will serve the area south of Glenwood Springs.
“To act on that is a very powerful commitment from the school district,” she said. “And I really feel like this can be a blueprint for all the schools in this community.”
Rose was among the teachers and staff welcoming soon-to-be students and their parents to the new school. Riverview, after extensive parent and community input as it was being planned during the past two years, has adopted a dual-language model.
It and several other newly renovated schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt that were part of the Roaring Fork Schools’ $122 million bond issue officially open for the school year next Tuesday.
District Superintendent Rob Stein and Principal Adam Volek addressed the crowd of about 300 people gathered for the official Riverview ribbon cutting in both Spanish and English. Stein acknowledged general contractor Haselden Construction for “taking the extra steps” to get both wings of the new school open on time. Just this week, the last of the newly built and renovated school facilities that have been under construction all summer long were given the green light to open their doors to students next week, Stein said.
“We’re really excited to have a new school that belongs to the whole community,” he said of the combined elementary and middle school that, with input from future students, adopted Ospreys as its mascot. An osprey nest tower has been erected behind the school overlooking the Roaring Fork River, but has not yet been occupied.
“We wanted a school that would support different kinds of learning, and more active learning, with flexible classrooms and more collaboration,” Stein said. “I believe we have accomplished that.”
Added school board member Matt Hamilton, “This marks a new era for the Roaring Fork School District, one with diverse choices for students and parents.”
Emma Price, who transfers to Riverview from Glenwood Springs Middle School, and her younger sister Sophie, said they like the roominess of their new school – and the fact that it’s shiny and new, and “clean.”
“It’s just nice to be able to go to school so close to home,” Emma Price said. The family lives at nearby Ironbridge.
“It’s also a lot more colorful than my last school,” she said of the silver and green that graces the hallways and wide open commons area. Those are the school colors.
“I just love how big it is, and it’s not as cramped,” added Sophie, who comes to Riverview from Sopris Elementary School. The district decided to use $34 million of the bond issue funds to build the new school in an effort to ease overcrowding at Sopris and Glenwood Middle.
Incoming sixth grader Alex Orozco agreed.
“I think I’m going to like it here, it’s just so much bigger,” he said.
Incoming eighth graders Kailey Murphy and her parents, Ken and Jill Murphy, also appreciate having a neighborhood school near the growing Ironbridge subdivision.
“It’s so modern, and just the whole feel of it with the large, open gymnasium and the way the classrooms are organized,” Ken Murphy said.
The new, 76,000-square-foot school located 2.5 miles south of Glenwood Springs just east of the intersection of Colorado 82 and the Westbank (Garfield County Road 154) will open with 345 students and 45 staff members.
The school can eventually serve up to 450 students. It’s design features include views of the Roaring Fork River; a 7,000-square-foot gymnasium; a youth baseball/soccer field; a dedicated space for art, music and technology; and breakout spaces in every classroom section.