Gunnison Watershed School District
School Facilities Digital Open House


Proposed Improvement Projects

    School District Website





About the Project

With important school building improvements related to safety, overcrowding and efficiency/maintenance, Gunnison Watershed School District plans to pursue bond funding on the November 2022 ballot. Upon approval, conceptual design turns into construction plans and projects would kick off in mid-2023.


Addressing Safety, Overcrowding, and Maintenance

 SAFETY: Our schools are safe, but new industry standards developed after our schools were built suggest we could make them safer. Every entrance needs safety improvements based on evolving industry school safety standards.   

OVERCROWDING: With a consistent growth rate within our schools, we need better long-term solutions. Crested Butte Community School (CBCS) is over capacity and uses six modular classrooms. CBCS building improvements will increase student capacity by 33%. There is also a need for a larger cafeteria and auditorium space at Gunnison Community School. Our vocational programming also needs to be expanded to meet the needs of our local economy.   

MAINTENANCE: We must take care of all of our school buildings and have comfortable learning environments while being mindful of energy consumption. Energy efficiency and temperature control at Gunnison Community School require large HVAC upgrades.




     GWSD Image1    




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, Community Member
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 President
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, Community Member
Jim Gelwicks, City of Gunnison Mayor
Madison Hadley, GHS Class of 2021
Andy Hanks, GHS Principal
Tyler Martineau, CB Community Member, GWSD Board President
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, Community Member
Lynne Funke, Lake School
Jennifer Kennedy, Lake Director
Linda Mangum, Bookkeeper & Receptionist
Tyler Martineau, CB Community Member, GWSD Board President
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, Community Member
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 President
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: