By Roxanne Squires
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — The Hayden School District is nearing completion on a design for its new prekindergarten through 12th-grade campus.
Denver-based Cuningham Group Architecture recently unveiled a schematic design for the new facility despite the project currently being in the conceptual phase.
The Design Advisory Group, a group of 19 community members and educators, have been meeting since July 2018 to gather input from administrators, board members, teachers, students and residents.
The majority of the consulting, design, surveying and construction team has been selected while the district is currently in the process of acquiring an abatement contractor.
The district received a $38.8 million BEST grant in May from the Colorado Department of Education, which will help support the $61 million project.
Architect Kali-elin Mock explained that creating a “prominent and welcoming entry” was a key component of the design. In addition to this, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces for the entire school, including a courtyard, were also prioritized by the advisory group.
The campus is being designed so it can be easily utilized and accessed for various community purposes, said owners representative Colleen Kaneda.
Plans call for construction of a new football field and track and two gymnasiums, giving the district a total of three including the existing small elementary gym. One will also function as an auditorium.
According to Mock, the BEST grant specifies the new facility to accommodate only for the district’s current enrollment of 439. However, she said the advisory group is thoughtfully designing the new school around flexibility to allow for the possibility of expansion in the future.
Some of the biggest challenges include the site’s expansive soil and the space limitations set by the hillside.
Currently, the future of the old middle school and high school isn’t certain, however, the BEST grant orders the demolition of the building, unless another entity decides to purchase it.
The district has planned spring 2019 to begin the groundbreaking and aims to have the project completed before the school year starts in 2020.
Reports from Steamboat Pilot & Today contributed to this story.