New Vail Valley high school opens its doors |

New Vail Valley high school opens its doors

Sarah Mausolf
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyA group tours Battle Mountain High School's new 450-seat auditorium Thursday during the school's open house in Edwards.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – A tour of the new Battle Mountain High School in Colorado’s Vail Valley on Thursday left Edwards resident Laurie Mendez gushing.

“It’s impressive,” she said of the Edwards campus. “I’ve been telling my girls: ‘I almost have goosebumps.'”

Mendez stopped by an open house of the new school with her daughters, Alex, an incoming sophomore, and Izzy, 8.

They especially liked the 450-seat auditorium with its large projector.

“I looks like a movie theater,” Alex noted.

About 500 people stopped by the school for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour, officials estimated.

For many community members, the tour offered the first glimpse of the $65 million school, which opens for classes Monday. The building sprawls across more than 200,000 square feet and includes a video production studio, a culinary kitchen and two gyms that span roughly 12,000 and 9,000 square feet.

Edwards resident Deb Travers, whose son will be a sophomore, said she liked the 80-seat lecture hall.

“It’s nice training for them to have a lecture hall akin to what they’ll have in college,” she said.

The sunlight streaming through the building’s many windows also impressed her.

“To have this kind of space and natural light and the energy you feel in the building – it’s such a gift for the students,” she said.

Not everyone who toured the building will have kids in the school. Even though Kathie Talbot’s grandkids probably won’t attend Battle Mountain High School, she was curious about the building.

“I’m a taxpayer. I wanted to see my tax dollars at work,” the Eagle-Vail resident said.

After walking through the building, she gave it a good review.

“I liked it. It’s amazing,” she said. “They have everything just state of the art and new.”

Funding for the school came from a $128 million bond voters approved in 2006 for a variety of construction projects.

“It looks like money well spent,” Edwards resident Richard Bennett Sr. noted. He walked through the building with his daughter, incoming senior Ashley Bennett.

He liked how the school had a dance studio, a weight room and a wrestling room.

“Everything is spaced out so they can train at the same time without scheduling interfering in those rooms,” he said.

His daughter liked how students get their own lockers, instead of sharing them, and she thought the cafeteria looked more spacious than the one at the old Battle Mountain High School in Eagle-Vail. In general, she gave the school her stamp of approval.

“It’s big, nice – confusing at first – but nice,” the 17-year-old said.

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