Re-1 poised to break ground on new Carbondale schools |

Re-1 poised to break ground on new Carbondale schools

CARBONDALE – Carbondale schools will soon begin a dramatic facelift as construction on an expanded elementary school and a new high school nears groundbreaking. The construction is the fruit of Bond Question 3B, passed by voters last November, which will raise $86 million for new facilities throughout Roaring Fork School District Re-1. Representatives from Crystal River Elementary, Roaring Fork High and Colorado Springs architectural firm LKA Partners, Inc. discussed the schools’ expansion plans Tuesday at a sparsely attended open house at the high school. Once construction is complete on the Crystal River Elementary east campus expansion next fall, the school will have 50,000 more square feet and a total of 37 full-sized classrooms. The new school will accommodate 640 students. The $9.5 million expansion would mean the school’s Third Street campus – formerly Carbondale Elementary School – would close. The administrations of the two campuses consolidated beginning this school year, said principal Karen Olson. “My best hope (was) that this would be the year we did everything but the facilities move,” she said, adding that the school will break ground in three weeks. As the district and community members devised plans for the new campus, “green design” was non-negotiable, Olson said.The new classrooms will feature energy-saving technology, including an ice storage system that will cool the school with chilled water that will circulate through coils during the day. At night, when energy is cheaper, the water will be frozen in tanks, said architect James Cook of LKA Partners. A traditional boiler system will heat the school in winter, he said. The new building will also feature plenty of natural light, allowing lights to be turned off during the day, he said. Using “light shelves” on each window, he said, natural light will be reflected from the sky into each classroom. Students at Roaring Fork High School will be treated to an entirely new school in the middle of the next school year, said principal Dale Parker. The new campus, three blocks south of the current campus on Highway 133, will be built on an empty lot to make way for Carbondale Middle School to move into the present high school building during summer 2007.Once Carbondale Middle completes the move, the old middle school will likely become Bridges High School and a “mid-district” technology center, according to a district ad placed in last week’s Valley Journal. LKA architect John Cameron said the new campus will increase the size of the high school from 78,000 square feet to about 90,000 square feet. The design clusters classrooms around the media center to reflect the school’s focus on academics, Parker said. The new school, which will face Mount Sopris, will feature two gymnasiums and an “auditeria” – a 200-seat cafeteria with terraced seating space and a stage that will double as a 400-seat community auditorium, Cameron said. “It will look more like an auditorium you can eat in,” as opposed to a “cafetorium” which looks like a cafeteria with a stage attached, he said. The new school will have many of the same “green design” features as Crystal River Elementary, including an energy-efficient boiler system. Classrooms will be cooled using the same ice storage system as the elementary school and include a “displacement ventilation” system that blows air from near the floor rather than from the ceiling. The system fills the room with fresh air, allowing stale air to gather above students’ heads, Cameron said. The school is scheduled to break ground during the first week in November with construction slated to be complete by October 2006. Students will begin classes at the new school in January 2007, Parker said. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext.

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