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Belle Creek K-8 Charter SchoolBrighton, Colorado

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Master-planned as a joint-use Family Center and a K-8 school, RTA’s challenge for this project was to plan a cohesive design to connect the new school to the existing Family Center on a compact site. Extensive analysis by the Planning Team (teachers, administrators, community members, developers, metro-district representatives, and RTA’s design team) resulted in a design that included flexible learning spaces, while also minimizing the impact of the addition.

The planning constraints of the Family Center building and site elements created unique challenges for the design. RTA overcame these challenges by having organizational philosophy, geometry, and siting of the K-8 school building in order to take advantage of the unique environment. The design connected the new building to the existing main core of the Family Center. Careful placement of new site elements resulted in a larger shared parking lot, additional hard and soft surface play areas (located close to the existing day-care play areas), and quiet landscaped areas between the separate entryways of the Family Center and the school.

The Family Center and the school now share the technology lab, media center, dining/commons/kitchen area, gymnasium, community rooms, and site amenities such as, play areas, parking, and natural outdoor spaces.


  • 2004 Project of Distinction Award, CEFPI Rocky Mountain Chapter