In the Lake County School District, we are working to improve education in all ways, including the condition of our facilities. Our West Park and Pitts Elementary School facilities are deteriorating. The Colorado Department of Education ranks them among the top 10 poorest-condition schools in the state. In anticipation that these schools will no longer be able to safely and reliably serve students in the future, the District submitted a Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant application in February 2019 for $20.8M to help fund a $34.7M replacement of the West Park facility, which would be designed to serve students in grades PK–2. In May 2020, we learned that our grant was recommended for funding and excavation began.
Input and guidance for the new building was provided by the district’s Design Advisory Group (DAG) (comprising staff and community members) to Dynamic Program Management, the district’s owner’s representative, and to Hord Coplan Macht, the project’s architectural firm. The new PK–2 building will include spaces that support student collaboration and enhance LCSD’s expeditionary learning spirit, and it will include a large gym for student and community use.
The original design was altered to add two additional classrooms (a total of 3,010 square feet) to address a shortage of pre-kindergarten classrooms for students aged three to five. The new building will have eight pre-k classrooms.
“We are looking forward to opening these additional classrooms to support the preschool needs of the community,” said Holly DeBell, Director of Early Childhood Programs. “This year, our current pre-k waitlist is 17 students, and last year, the list was 42 students.”
“Our architects, Hord Coplan Macht, produced a flythrough rendering that reflects the DAG’s request for a sustainable, daylight filled building that is connected to the outdoors,” said LCSD Superintendent Dr. Bethany Massey. “The renderings are really helpful in bringing to life how the new space will offer our students rich opportunities of ideation, collaboration and discovery within and beyond the natural world, enhancing our expeditionary learning approach to schooling for our youngest students.”
Demolition of the old West Park school is slated for the fall of 2021 after students have started in the new school building. Paving and final landscaping will take place in the summer of 2022.
- February 2019: Submitted BEST grant application
- May 2020: Grant received and excavation begins
- Fall 2021: New school opens and old West Park building is demolished
- Summer 2022: Paving and final landscaping finished