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New schools coming this summer

Matt Terrell
Preston Utley/Daily file photoThe Red Canyon High School building in Edwards will be torn down to make way for June Creek Elementary School. Red Canyon will get a new home nearby.
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EDWARDS ” One school will look oddly familiar. One school will be completely new. Both are being built this summer on Miller Ranch.

Eagle County School District will begin work as early as May on a new elementary school ” recently named June Creek Elementary ” and on a new building for Red Canyon High School.

June Creek will be modeled on a standardized design for Eagle County elementary schools, the same one developed for Brush Creek Elementary and Red Hill elementaries.

Architects are still designing the new Red Canyon High School, which is requiring a little more creativity to accommodate the alternative high school’s unique, hands-on curriculum, district officials say.

With a lot of growth in Edwards and Avon, the school district decided a new elementary was needed to hold a whole new slew of kids.

Voters passed a $128 million bond question in November that would pay for the elementary school, along with a new high school and districtwide renovations.

June Creek is expected to be completed by August 2008 and will be built on Miller Ranch where Red Canyon currently sits. If while walking through the halls of the new school you get a sense of deja vu, it’s probably because you actually have been in the school before.

June Creek will be exactly like Brush Creek and Red Hill except for some minor modifications, said Greg Cromer with architectural firm klipp in Denver.

“We’ll be expanding the kindergarten rooms, putting in some additional classrooms, reworking the administration area to give them a better entryway,” Cromer said. “Other than that, it’s pretty much the same. Nothing changes.”

Using a prototype design saves on design fees, construction costs and time, school spokeswoman Melinda Gladitsch said.

“There’s a lengthy process used to design and approve designs, and while you certainly revisit that, you don’t go through it all again,” Gladitsch said. “There’s a big time savings and a money savings.”

Cromer said using the same design also creates equity among schools.

“You’re giving them a uniform standard, and that’s a good thing,” Cromer said.

The elementary will also have a regular-sized gym which can be used by the community, Cromer said.

Red Canyon will have to make room for the new elementary, but they’ll be getting a new, much better building just across the street.

The new campus will be built on land adjacent to Berry Creek Middle School’s baseball field and will work with Red Canyon’s other campus in Eagle. The design for Red Canyon is also being managed by klipp.

Red Canyon is an alternative high school that places emphasis on individualized curriculums, hands on learning and in-depth studies on single, specific topic. The new school will need things like a workshop and a nursery.

Cromer said Red Canyon students gave a presentation of what they liked about their school, what they didn’t like and what they’d want future students to have in the new school.

“They wanted wider halls, vending machines, color, open spaces, a multi-purpose area ” they basically wanted a facility they weren’t squeezed into,” Cromer said.

The school has been growing every year and the new building should be able to meet the community’s future need, Principal Wade Hill said.

While not all the students’ requests can be met, the students hit on a lot of important things, especially color and having enough space to work in, Cromer said.

“The student input helped align us, captures a lot of what we needed to see,” Cromer said. “This is great because they are really doing it for the next generation of kids.”

The design isn’t finished yet, but it should be soon, Cromer said. They hope to finish construction by January 2008, but Red Hill is still looking for an interim home to hold classes for the first part of the 2007-2008 school year.

Red Canyon’s new campus was originally part of the November bond question but later scrapped. When the bonds were sold in January, the school district got a much better deal than anticipated and decided to use the extra money to build a new Red Canyon campus.

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


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