Big step up for Battle Mountain |

Big step up for Battle Mountain

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyThe new Battle Mountain High School campus includes a football field and bleachers on the west end of the school in Edwards in Colorado's Vail Valley.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” If this year’s seniors at Battle Mountain High School could get a peak inside the new school in Edwards, they just might want to stick around the Vail Valley for one more year.

The new Battle Mountain High School is more than one and a half times the size of the current school, and the technology and facilities are top-of-the-line ” a major step up from the deteriorating old building in Eagle-Vail.

The campus, which will be the newest addition to what’s becoming a sprawling campus of K-12 schools and Colorado Mountain College, is set to open sometime between September and December ” about two years from the construction’s October 2007 start date.

A narrower time frame or scheduled opening date could be announced today at the school board meeting, when the contractors and architects discuss project updates with the board.

The new school will have some different features such as color schemes in each of the four main areas of the school that will represent each of the four seasons. There will be stained and polished concrete floors throughout some of the corridors.

A courtyard in the center of the school dons several different materials that make up its exterior walls ” metal meets concrete meets brick, breaking up the outside walls into a unique blend of materials and colors.

The entire school is designed with technology, modernization and functionality in mind. The new auditorium features stadium seating and seats more than 450 people. There’s an art wing, a state-of-the-art wood shop equipped with a built-in dust-collection air system, performing arts classrooms that are connected to the auditorium’s backstage, a greenhouse, video production room, photography dark room and huge windows throughout the school to bring in natural lighting.

While the school isn’t going to meet LEED certification, a national green building standard, there are plenty of green practices happening throughout the construction process, said Lee Macke, the assistant project manager with Adolfson and Peterson Construction.

As of yesterday, 76 percent of the waste that would have been on its way to landfills has been recycled, he said. There are also high efficiency motors and fans throughout the building, natural lighting, and low VOC adhesives in the paints.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are made up of chemicals that are emitted as gases that can be harmful, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site. Reducing those emissions is becoming a standard green building process, Macke said.

The reason the school district didn’t seek LEED certification is because it wanted to be able to build other parts of the project that it wouldn’t have been able to had it spent too much money on the green building practices, said Brooke Skjonsby, spokeswoman for the Eagle County School District.

She said the school would essentially meet a lot of the LEED standards anyway, “just without the plaque on the wall.”

Some of the little extras that the school district didn’t want to skimp on are things like artificial turn on the football field – something community members spoke in favor of at several meetings with the School Board – and the culinary arts kitchen for the school’s award-winning culinary program.

The culinary arts room has an industrial kitchen like the kind found in most restaurants. There are also smaller, more residential kitchens in the classroom for the students.

The new school also has separate locker rooms for sports teams and physical education classes, a dance and fitness room equipped with ballet bars and mirrors around the perimeter, a weight room, two gymnasiums and three practice fields for sports in addition to the main football field and track.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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