In November of 2016, voters approved St. Vrain Valley’s $260.3 million bond issue by a wide margin, signifying wide community investment in public education. As teachers and students begin the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, the district’s Operations and Maintenance departments are finalizing three major 2016 bond construction projects.
At the northeast corner of the district sits a brand new Mead Elementary School building.
Originally, the 2016 bond plans called for an addition and repairs to Mead Elementary’s building. Through careful planning and strong fiscal management, St. Vrain’s Operations and Finance teams were able to generate additional funding to support the construction of an entirely new building.
This 70,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility was designed with its rural location in mind, incorporating a modern barn theme through its architectural framework. Principal Betsy Ball said, “I am so excited for students to be able to return. When they walk in their new school, they will see a colorful, happy place that was designed with them in mind.”
The school includes many specialized spaces. Some of the highlights include a makerspace called the “Creation Station,” an outdoor movement plaza, a two-story gym, and many open spaces with flexible seating options. Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Stanich said, “The color-coded pods make the building so colorful, there are lots of wood features throughout the building, and beautiful accent lights in our foyer. Each pod has a breakout space for students to work in with lots of flexible seating.”
“The new Mead Elementary School will be a site where children can come and learn, experience rigorous instruction, and feel proud of their school for years to come,” said Principal Ball.
Main Street School
Built in 1901 in the heart of downtown Longmont, Main Street School was the location of the original Longmont High School. Bond renovations at Main Street were carried out with the intention of preserving the historic elements of the building while modernizing its interior features to meet the needs of current students, teachers, and staff.
Executive Director of Special Education, Laura Hess, said, “We spent three years creating a place where students with special needs feel like this is the hub now for what we do.” Hess emphasized that the school’s location in downtown is crucial for students to have access to additional resources outside of school to support their continued growth and development.
The construction project included a new main entrance and office space, a student community kitchen and cafeteria area, and a bus loop closer to the school building. Building enhancements included a new HVAC system, updated accessibility features, additional open spaces with windows and access to natural lighting, and individual classroom updates. The many renovations have culminated to a complete renewal of the more than 100 year old building while honoring its history and putting inclusivity and innovation at the forefront. “For me, this represents who we are in St. Vrain,” said Hess.
In addition to money from the bond, the district was awarded a $2.25 million grant from the Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Grant Program for additional renovations. Main Street School Principal, Kate Green, is excited for students and families to see the building renovations.
“We haven’t seen our Main Street students and families in a while, but we have been working hard preparing for their return. My hope is that they feel as proud of our new school as we do.”
Longmont High School
St. Vrain Valley School’s first secondary school, Longmont High School, also received major renovations from the bond this year.
The construction team began the design process by renovating the current south entrance of the school to serve as the main entryway. “We did this since it offered the most area for an addition,” said Project Manager, Sam Freeman, “The actual main entrance lacked parking and was hidden by trees, and the south side was so prominent that many visitors already thought it was the main entrance.”
Additional improvements included a remodeled and expanded cafeteria and student commons area, new counseling and career center space, improved insulation to older areas of the building, new HVAC units in every classroom, updated locker rooms, new hydration stations around the school, and new windows and siding around the exterior of the building.
“Overall the renovations have served to blend the old and new and create a bright, inviting space for staff and students at Longmont High School,” said Freeman.
Principal Jeff McMurry said, “It has been so uplifting coming into the building this year with the recent renovation. It’s been a complete transformation. The real eye opener is the new commons, which has such a collegiate atmosphere to it. We are so thankful for the support of our community who give us the ability to make Longmont High the special place that it is.”
Projects on the Horizon St. Vrain has utilized $226 million of the $260.3 million voter approved 2016 bond initiative. Upcoming projects under the bond include a new elementary school in the Erie Highlands Subdivision, a new nine classroom wing at Frederick High School, and a new pool for districtwide use at Silver Creek High School. For an official bond update, tune in to the Board of Education meeting on September 23 >>