Construction on Hayden’s new school nearly halfway complete

Hayden's new $61 million pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade school includes added security measures thanks to several grants. Bullet-resistant and fire-resistant glass, cameras and specialty training for staff are among the safety measures the district will implement with the funding.
Kari Dequine Harden

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Construction on Hayden’s new pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade campus is on schedule and on budget, according to Hayden School District Superintendent Christy Sinner.

The $61 million project was made possible through a $38.8 million BEST grant, combined with a $22.9 million bond passed by voters in 2017.

The project is about 42% complete, with doors slated to open for the 2020-21 school year.

Crews were at work on a cold and snowy Monday morning as Sinner wandered through the framed-out walls of the spacious structure, a walk-through she has taken every week since construction started in March.

The outer shell of Hayden’s new school is complete. Crews are busy working inside under any weather condition, with heaters blasting throughout the building.
Kari Dequine Harden

She pointed to the welding and auto mechanics classrooms, part of the Babson Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center. There is one additional space for a yet undetermined use, she said, possibly a nursing or law enforcement program.

In the athletics wing, she pointed out the spaces that will become the concession stands, locker rooms, weight room and wrestling room.

She walked through the gymnasium, which features a stage that will double as an auditorium and the main gym next door.

The athletic upgrades, both inside and out, will allow Hayden to host tournaments and home track meets — something that has been nearly impossible in the past. And with that comes a lot of pride for the students, Sinner said.

The cement shell of the new section is partially complete, while the old elementary school has been entirely gutted, with just the ceiling and foundation remaining.

Hayden School District Superintendent Christy Sinner stands by one of her favorite elements of the new school — the learning stairs.
Kari Dequine Harden

That’s been one of the only changes, Sinner said. The initial plan was to leave more of the brick from the old building, but as they started to tear into it, they found the bricks were significantly deteriorated.

Now, the old elementary portion will match the rest of the building, she said. Using different material will cost a little more but still within budget, she said. And in the long run, the increased energy efficiency will save money.

One of Sinner’s favorite parts of the new school are the “learning stairs,” a massive centrally-located staircase. It will be a place to hang out, work and provide a multi-level stage for performances.

The cafeteria opens into a courtyard, which also includes an outdoor auditorium.

The design provides a lot of natural light — a dramatic difference from the old building.

At the main entrance, which is off Breeze Basin Boulevard, visitors will enter through a secured entrance.

The cafeteria in Hayden’s new school will open to a courtyard with outdoor seating when the weather allows.
Kari Dequine Harden

In October, Hayden was awarded a $44,000 COPS — Community Oriented Policing Services — safety grant — the only district in Colorado to receive the competitive grant.

The grant will pay for bullet-resistant window film, high frequency radios for staff communication across the campus and with police and safety training for all staff and students, Sinner said.

Construction is close to halfway complete on Hayden’s new school on Breeze Basin Boulevard.
Kari Dequine Harden

As the construction progresses, Sinner said there is growing excitement among her students and staff, as well as the entire town, as the school is designed to be an asset for the whole community.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

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