History on the move
“We love its new location. It sits on a little knoll, overlooking everything,” says Nancy Young, the school’s director of development, who has documented the cabin’s move.
The undertaking, which lasted several days, involved heavy equipment, including a flatbed truck and a track hoe.
The 96-year-old cabin, one of the few historic buildings in Vail, was the home of the Baldauf family in a time when sheep, lumber and lettuce were the Vail Valley’s main commodities and skiing was a mode of transportation in harsh winters.
The cabin, which has housed music lessons since 1984 and has been part of the the private school since the facility moved to East Vail in 1979, has been located on the east side of the school’s main building on the northwestern corner of the campus. The cabin will soon become home to Vail Mountain School’s Center for Ethical Studies.
“It’ll be used by students nine through 12 (years old),” says Young.
The Vail Mountain School currently enrolls about 250 children from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
In addition to a “rustic” retouching of the interior, the cabin will be equipped with bathrooms and a small kitchen, Young says.
With town of Vail’s approval in August, the school is undergoing two years of major construction. The cabin was moved because the main school building will expand to the east.
Currently, the campus is surrounded by ditches and dirt piles as excavation continues for a regulation-size soccer field.
When completed, the new campus will include an expanded library, an auditorium, a student commons, a dining hall, a state-of-the-art science laboratory, an expanded gymnasium with a training room and a climbing wall, an art gallery and a computer technology center. Eight units of faculty housing will be constructed on the east side of Katsos Ranch Road, which will be relocated as part of the project.
Once the campus is finished, the school hopes to increase enrollment to about 330 students.
On Monday, students celebrated the move of the cabin with a small time-capsule ceremony. The capsule – actually a series of boxes that will be stored in the cabin’s crawl space – contain everything from students’ art projects to the school’s mission statement, a description of the dress code and the current curriculum.
“We want the cabin to remain incorporated in the campus,” says Young. “It is a wonderful symbol for our school.”
Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.