Construction on Hayden’s new school nearly halfway complete
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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