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Gunnison Watershed School District
School Facilities Digital Open House


Proposed Improvement Projects

    School District Website



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Hi Gunnison Watershed School District Community!

Welcome to the GWSD interactive facilities design website created in collaboration with RTA Architects. Knowing that we are pushing the boundaries of obsolescence and space in our current facilities, we contracted with RTA for this project in November of 2019. We convened Design Advisory Teams at each campus: Crested Butte Community School, Gunnison Community School, Gunnison High School, and Lake School. These teams included a total of over 60 community members, parents, faculty, and staff, and altogether, we held 18 input sessions. This website demonstrates what our students need from their facilities, and conceptual designs that capture those ideas.

Citizens, we recognize the timing of this is not ideal. The upheaval of the pandemic this year has created a new framework with which to examine all of our lives. The fact is that our current facilities are not sustainable. The Colorado Department of Education identified over $37 million worth of deferred maintenance needs for our district in 2018. Enrollment growth in the north end of the valley has averaged over 24 students per year for the past decade and the Crested Butte Community School is over its 750 student capacity with 800 students enrolled in 2020-2021. Our Gunnison schools require safety improvements, the ability to continue to develop our Career and Technical Education programs, and the need to be ready for enrollment increases with developments like Gunnison Rising on the horizon.

Our process has been to assimilate the impact of the financial impacts through close, careful examination of all the circumstances surrounding our facilities. Please take the time to do the same. Visit and revisit this site as many times as you like. Write down your questions. Breathe deeply and think about the big picture. This is not an easy decision, nor one taken lightly, and we honor your input as we move forward.

The Gunnison Watershed School District has been a leader in Colorado during the COVID pandemic by offering in-person classes since the first day of school this school year. We have also provided an online learning option for families who have needed that. Careful planning and fiscal conservatism have maintained a healthy school environment despite our district’s loss of nearly $20 million in funding due to the state negative factor over the past decade.

The people in this community have come together - employees, volunteers, board and committee members, parents, children - to create an education system that thrives despite all obstacles. This is a wonderful place to live. We are so very grateful for all of you, and hope we can continue on with this culture of supported and effective education for our children.

Courtney Fullmer, President
Gunnison Watershed School District Board of Education

Leslie Nichols, Ed.D., Superintendent
Gunnison Watershed School District




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Project Overview

Gunnison Watershed School District spans nearly 3,000 square miles and includes the communities of Gunnison and Crested Butte. The district serves over 2,100 students and is ever-growing. In February 2019, Gunnison Watershed School District adopted a Facility Master Plan that was a collaborative effort between community stakeholders and RTA Architects. The Master Plan identified existing facility conditions, opportunities within educational programs, and past and future enrollment projections. In continuation of this work, Gunnison Watershed School District retained RTA Architects to provide the school district with site-based conceptual design solutions that meet the needs defined in the Master Plan and provide preliminary cost estimates.



Design Objectives

  Building upon the discoveries and discussions within the Design Advisory Group Meetings, the following design objectives emerged
and became the framework for the proposed changes at each facility;

Health and Safety

Health and safety of students, staff and community members is of the highest priority to the District. Taking current knowledge and best practices for security in schools, as well as health and wellness recommendations, several advancements are proposed at each facility. Security improvements focus on site lines in and around the school buildings, secure entry vestibules, and electronic security devices. To support good health and hygiene, the addition of handwashing stations at food service areas and throughout the buildings are addressed.



Facility maintenance is an ongoing duty of the school district and community in order to mitigate the effects of use, age of systems, safety and improve energy efficiency. A comprehensive list of deferred maintenance items was identified at each facility during the master planning process, and are included in the proposed scope of work. Maintaining the beauty and integrity of each campus reflects the pride this community has in its schools and educational offerings.


Ed Program and Spaces

The District strives to provide relevant program offerings that meet the growing needs and desires of the students and families within the community. Additional spaces will be provided across the district to support STEM and CTE programs, as well as supplementary instructional areas to meet the projections of the growing population. The intent of these improvements aligns with the District’s Mission to, “Ensure all students are successful". 


Community and Collaboration

The strong support, cooperation, and involvement from parents and community members is one of the District’s most important assets. Additional instruction and community spaces have been identified across the District to strengthen the relationship with outside organizations and bring value to the community. Improvements within the school buildings aim to provide a variety of flexible education spaces that support the evolution of education in the District, and the individual learning styles of its student population. 


Sustainability and Wellness

The District strives to maintain environmentally responsible facilities that are clean and healthy, energy-conscious, and enhance the learning environment. Energy audits were performed, and improvements are planned to simplify building operations and reduce energy consumption across the district. Building modifications and additions are proposed that maximize daylight, views, and fresh air to improve cognitive function, student performance, and the overall health of occupants.



Improvement Project Interactive Maps 

  Select from the links below to explore the proposed improvements and scope of work for each school. The work presented
was defined in collaboration with the Gunnison Watershed School District community members, parents, and staff.
Lake   GCS

The content of all documents was created in collaboration with the design team and a specially convened Design Advisory Groups (DAG). Four DAG groups were formed, one for each of the four District Facilities, and were comprised of members of the community, parents, and school district employees. The DAG groups met five times since January 2020. This group provided context, creative input, and critical feedback to formulate the design solutions tailored to the needs of each individual school. The DAG groups’ efforts were invaluable to the process of defining project priorities for sustainable growth within the school buildings.


Thank you to the following stakeholders for your time and commitment to the DAG Process;

Crested Butte Community School DAG

Than Acuff, CBCS High School Soccer Coach
Mark Alive
Monica Arewitsch, Self GVC3
Sarah Block, CBCS Elementary Teacher
Charlotte Camp, CBCS Secondary Teacher
Dana Delaney
Shea Earley, Town of CB Public Works Director
Josh Egedy, CBCS Secondary Teacher, Preschool Parent
Crockett Farnell, Crested Butte Community Member
Courtney Fullmer, GWSD School Board President
Bob Gettge, GVC3
Lily Hanna, CBCS Class of 2021
Janna Hansen, Town of Crested Butte
Jennifer Hartman, CBCS Secondary Parent
Christie Hasz, CBCS Elementary Parent
Chris Haver, CBCS Parent, Town of CB Council Member
Sally Hensley, CBCS Elementary Principal
Kim Kula, CBCS Food Services
Chris Laggis, CBCS Parent
Dara MacDonald, Town of CB Manager
Tyler Martineau, CB Community Member, GWSD Board Member
Cindy McKee, GWSD Emergency Manager
Julie McNeill, CBCS Parent
Laura Mitchell, CBCS Parent Town of CB Council Member
Keely Moran, CBCS Elementary Teacher
Paul Morgan, GWSD Facilities Manager
Leslie Nichols, GWSD District Superintendent
Stephanie Nieme, CBCS Secondary Principal
Kathy Norgard
Missy Ochs, CBCS Elementary Parent
Lindsay Oleson, CBCS Secondary Parent
Bob Piccaro, CBCS Elementary Assistant Principal
D. Suzanne Pierson, Self GVC3
Mark Reamon

Crested Butte Community School DAG (cont.)

Michael Riley, Crested Butte Marshal
Randy Swift, GVC3
Mark Tardiff, Self GVC3
Sophia Truex, CBCS Class of 2021
Leslie Walton, CBCS Parent
Todd Wasinger, CBCS Secondary Teacher
Sue Williams
Tim Williamson, GVC3

Gunnison High School DAG

Courtney Fullmer, GWSD School Board President
Jim Gelwicks, City of Gunnison Mayor
Madison Hadley, GHS Class of 2021
Andy Hanks, GHS Principal
Tyler Martineau, CB Community Member, GWSD Board Member
Paul Morgan, GWSD Facilities Manager
Leslie Nichols, GWSD District Superintendent
Lily Pierson, GHS Class of 2021
Gregg Smith, GHS Teacher
Chad Terry, Pathways Director
Miles Van Hee, WCU Athletic Director
Erin Vokoun, GHS Art Teacher
Robin Wilkinson, GHS Teacher

Lake Preschool & Kindergarten DAG

Courtney Fullmer, GWSD School Board President
Lynne Funke, Lake School
Jennifer Kennedy, Lake Director
Linda Mangum, Bookkeeper & Receptionist
Tyler Martineau, CB Community Member, GWSD Board Member
Jennie McCauley, Lake School
Paul Morgan, GWSD Facilities Manager
Kathleen Mowery, Kindergarten Teacher

Gunnison Community School DAG

Lana Athey, ECC DHHS
Jennifer Barvitski, GCS Parent
Rain Bodine, GES Art / Steam Teacher
Drew Brookhart
Cynthia Bruton, GCS Middle School Teacher
Mandy Casteel-Denny, GCS Parent
Laura Crittendon, GCS Elementary Teacher
Katy Dye, GCS Elementary Teacher
Courtney Fullmer, GWSD School Board President
Jim Gelwicks, City of Gunnison Mayor
Ixchel Ibarra, GCS Parent
Keith Koepsel, GCS Middle School
Emily Kowal, GCS Elementary Teacher
Tyler Martineau, CB Community Member, GWSD Board Member
Tara Mason, GCS Parent
Liz Mick, GCS Elementary Teacher
Paul Morgan, GWSD Facilities Manager
Jamie, Murgatroyd, GCS Middle School Teacher
Leslie Nichols, GWSD District Superintendent
Mary Nordberg, GCS Middle School Teacher
Perri Pelletier, GCS
Zen Schwab, GCS Parent
Dan Vollendorf, City of Gunnison Recreation Director
Margaret Wacker, ECC DHHS
Todd Witzel, GCS Middle School Principal
Jim Woytek, GCS Elementary Principal
Caroline Zeferino, GCS Parent


  Please share your questions, comments, suggestions, and concerns with us. This information will go to GWSD School Board and Administration for consideration and a response should you request one.   



Additional Links / Information

  School District Website
Adopted Master Plan
CDE Insight Facilities Assessments
GWSD Air Quality & Energy Report
Design Advisory Group (DAG) Presentations & Meeting Minutes

  Thank you for taking the time to review the proposed school improvements.
Feel free to share your thoughts by email with us at: