Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part photo series showcasing the improvements and upgrades to Eagle County Schools following a voter-approved referendum last November. This installment looks inside the schools, showing the new furniture, floors and other upgrades; the second installment looks to the future, with new construction in the district.
The old and new furniture show a stark comparison to how students learn and interact at Gypsum Elementary. The new desks allow for more collaboration and quicker reconfigurations.
New stools at Gypsum Elementary School. The new stools allow kids to rotate 360 degrees. They also take up less room than yoga balls or traditional chairs. All elementary schools in the district were, or will be, upgraded with new furniture.
New furniture and lighting at Edwards Elementary School. The new lighting is all light-emitting diode (LED), which provides a better hue for learning while also saving energy. The lights are also dimmable, which provide for a better learning environment for some.
New carpet at Gypsum Elementary School. Carpet was replaced in all of the district’s elementary and middle schools. The bulk purchase helped the district save money. The district was approved for $144 million ($233 million with interest) worth of upgrades. This summer and fall, $20 million in improvements were completed.
New gym flooring at Gypsum Elementary School. The new floor allows more use, and has more cushion than a traditional wood gym floor. The floor is also easier to clean. Gypsum Elementary School received $2.5 million worth of upgrades.
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A new dividing wall, furniture and flooring at Edwards Elementary School. The lighting will also be replaced, part of the 10,000 fixtures the district will replace. Installing LED lighting will save the district $150,000 a year in electrical utilities by reducing consumption by 50 percent. It also earned the district a $280,000 rebate from Holy Cross Energy for the efforts to reduce energy.
New furniture at Edwards Elementary School. Along with new furniture and flooring, the school also upgraded its vestibule to make it more secure. Gypsum Elementary School also received a vestibule upgrade for safety.