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RTA wins CSBJ's 2013 Best of Business

The Colorado Springs Business Journal featured RTA as winner of the Best Architectural Firm in Colorado Springs.

CSBJ logo

"RTA Architects has offered “service by design” since 1975. The company, based in downtown Colorado Springs, has a talented pool of architects, architectural interns, designers and support staff who have led a diverse array of commercial architectural projects in Colorado Springs and throughout the state. Specializing in health care, education, retail, office and interior spaces, RTA has designed some of the city’s most visible projects in recent years, including the St. Francis Medical Center, the Penrose Hospital E-Tower, Bear Creek Elementary School, University Village Colorado, the interiors of Veda Salons and the redevelopment of the historic Hibbard Building downtown."

Paradox Valley School addition and renovation is underway


Read the following article from the Montrose Daily Press, Paradox Valley School begins facelift next week.

In 2010, RTA was commissioned to provide master planning and conceptual design services in support of a BEST Grant Application for the Paradox Valley School. This arts-focused charter school located in the West End School District serves approximately 50 children in the remote community of Paradox, Colorado. RTA spent several days in the community learning about this unique school and its culture of performing arts-based education. With the design committee, RTA explored a number of diverse options to address the major facility and programmatic deficiencies that existed. With detailed knowledge of the school, community, and existing facilities, RTA was able to propose a creative solution that will enhance the educational environment, address key facility needs, and satisfy the need for an economical solution.

With the assistance of RTA, Paradox Valley School was successful in their BEST Grant Application and received the requested grant. Construction and occupancy of the new facility is planned for August of 2013.

Vista Peak Preparatory School Certified LEED Gold by the USGBC


Vista Peak Preparatory School was recently certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a point-based benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED Gold status illustrates a very high level of sustainability.

RTA in partnership with MOA Architecture designed the new Aurora high school which was completed in 2011. As the first new high school designed for Aurora Public Schools in over 30 years, considerable effort went into making sure the school represents the state-of-the-art in terms of educational philosophy, building performance and building flexibility. Developed on the 100-acre Aurora Public Schools Educational Campus, the high school shares a cohesive campus plan with a Pre-K through eighth grade school, and a future district stadium. Planning for the site included a Joint Use Facility for higher education and Public Recreation Center or Library.

The APS High School is designed to minimize energy use and provide sustainable architecture focused on the success of students and the community. Displacement ventilation systems deliver air to students in a quieter and more efficient way. Utilizing daylighting in almost all classrooms enhances the interior environment, saves energy, and improves student performance. Use of native landscape materials on site reduces water use and the building becomes a teaching tool with its green roof system and photovoltaic array located within an extraordinary outdoor science classroom.

Other teaching tools include a Green Touch Screen located on the school site which allows visitors, users, students and staff to view specific green building practices and live updated operational data; and Sustainability Case Study which is available for anyone interested in reading about the environmental practices implemented in the project.

Award Winning School Design Presented by AIA Colorado South

Gottlieb building

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Colorado South Chapter, Colorado South Chapter, recognized its 2012 architectural design award recipients during a ceremony on Friday, Aug. 24, at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. RTA was selected from twelve entries submitted by architect members of AIA Colorado South. The awards were presented by Jury Chair David Tryba, FAIA.
RTA Architects received the Honor Award for Built Architecture for The Gottlieb Building Addition & Renovations (Colorado Springs School for the Deaf and the Blind, Colorado Springs, Colorado). Click HERE to see more about RTA's award winning design of the Gottlieb Building.

Bear Creek Elementary

RTA Architects received the Merit Award for Built Architecture for the Bear Creek Elementary School Addition/Renovation (Boulder, CO). RTA has long-standing experience in Boulder, and has partnered on multiple school design projects with the Boulder Valley School District. Click HERE to see more about RTA's award winning design at Bear Creek Elementary School.

For more than 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA Colorado South is one of four chapters within the AIA Colorado component. This chapter is comprised of members from 18 counties in south and southeastern Colorado and includes the cities of Colorado Springs, Alamosa, Pueblo and La Junta.

RTA Architect Travels to Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

Jon Bock at Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

One of RTA’s newest additions, Jon Bock, has just returned from a mission trip to the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. Jon traveled with a group of 33 individuals from the United States to a small village on the Ucayali River to accomplish, alongside many local Peruvians, three tasks: build a church, install water filtration systems, and equip the village with medical supplies. The village, called Sharara, is located 50 miles south of Pucallpa, Peru and is inhabited by the Cocama people in an area populated heavily by the Shipibo Tribe. The group, organized by Lifetree Adventures, was composed of 26 youth and adults from a local church in Colorado Springs and multiple individuals from Colorado, Florida, and Texas. The mission was a great success, and Jon maintains that everyone involved gained perspective and relationships that will not soon be lost.

RTA Architects Builds Staff

RTA hire four new staff

RTA Architects is excited to welcome four new staff members to their team. Jennifer Toll, AIA, LEED AP brings nineteen years of professional experience in architecture. Jennifer currently serves as a 2011/2012 Director - AIA Colorado South Board of Directors and is a welcome addition to RTA's healthcare design team. Her previous work includes projects for the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, and the National Renewable Energy Labs. Garik Rowe, a 2011 Texas Tech Master of Architecture graduate, and Jonathan Bock, LEED AP BD+C, a 2011 University of Colorado, Denver Master of Architecture graduate, recently joined RTA as architectural interns. Megan Norris, a 2013 University of Kansas Professional Masters of Architecture candidate, is working at RTA through December 2012 as part of her degree program.

Catamount Institute Awards RTA Gold Sustainable Business Certification

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Catamount Institute and its Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network are pleased to announce that RTA Architects has received Gold Certification from its Sustainable Business Certification Program. Catamount Institute's Sustainable Business Certification Program is an in-depth checklist developed to measure, verify, and recognize a business's sustainable actions. By completing the Sustainable Business Certification checklist, businesses are able to:

  • Reduce their overall operating costs
  • Assess current sustainable endeavors and establish a roadmap for achieving future goals
  • Discover opportunities for improving their triple bottom line
  • Learn to market and promote their sustainable business initiatives

The Sustainable Business Certification Program is anchored by a 100-point checklist divided into six categories. A business must complete all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to receive certification. Categories include:

  • Corporate Commitment, Social Responsibility, and Wellness
  • Energy & Water
  • Transportation
  • Material Management, Waste & Pollution Reduction, Recycling
  • Procurement, Operations and Maintenance
  • Professional Certifications, Affiliations and Business Innovations (Extra Credit Section)

Businesses that receive at least the minimum of points required receive one of four levels of Certification: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum, and are recognized as members of the Catamount Institute’s Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network (PPSBN) at the designated level. Certifications are documented for two calendar years, based on the year of certification (e.g. “Bronze Level Certified, 2011-2012”). RTA Architects received 59 total credits, qualifying them as Gold Level members of PPSBN.

A firm of 28 employees located in Colorado Springs, CO, RTA Architects is an architecture and planning firm specializing in healthcare, education, retail and commercial projects. Supporting local, national and international communities, the RTA Architects’ vision is to honor and value their people, their clients, and the communities they represent; to design buildings that are sustainable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing; and to generate long term economic success for their clients and themselves.

Founded in 1975, RTA Architects’ multi-disciplined staff features a high concentration of registered architects and includes several LEED accredited professionals. In addition to their core strength of architectural design for new construction, renovation, and adaptive re-use projects, RTA provides technical expertise in a broad range of related services, including:

  • Feasibility studies including site selection and comparative analysis
  • Master planning
  • Site planning
  • Facility programming
  • Interior design
  • Environmental graphics, signage and way-finding

RTA Promotes Four to Principal

Four promoted to principal

Brian Calhoun, Doug Abernethy, Stuart Coppedge, and Dave Magargal have been promoted from associate principal to full principal. Brian, current president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of CEFPI, and Doug lead RTA’s K-12 school design practice and have designed multiple award-winning projects the last several years. Doug also has significant retail experience. In addition to serving diverse clients, Stuart, a member of the AIA National Board of Directors, leads RTA’s business development efforts. Dave, RTA’s Director of Construction Administration, is deeply respected by owners and contractors alike for his skill and experience in that area of practice.

Craig Hospital Selects RTA for Expansion and Renovation

Craig Hospital Logo

Englewood’s Craig Hospital, ranked as a Top Ten Rehabilitation Hospital for 22 consecutive years by US News and World Report, chose RTA, in association with SmithGroupJJR, from a select list of top healthcare architects to design Craig’s expansion and renovation.  Craig is “exclusively dedicated to specialty rehabilitation and research for patients with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury and has treated more than 27,000 patients since 1956 … more spinal cord injury patients than any other single facility in the United States”.  The Hammes Company is serving as owner’s rep.  Project planning has begun, with design anticipated to be complete in late 2012.

A Big Winner? Gottleib project entered in Armstrong contest


The Gottlieb Addition/Renovation at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind is featured on the Armstrong 'Ideas 2 Reality' site.

In September 2011, The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind held a Grand Opening to celebrate this 21st Century learning facility which was designed in cooperation with the Colorado Historic Society and the design team worked closely with the Governors Energy Office.

The project is entered in the I2R contest for ceiling and wall elements which feature Armstrong products.

Coppedge Elected as AIA Director

Stuart CoppedgeStuart Coppedge has been a longtime member and contributor to the American Institute of Architects. Recently, his role took on a whole new dimension.

The RTA Business Development Manager and Associate has served AIA at local and state levels and is currently the 2010/2011 Secretary of the Western Mountain Region Council. Stuart was elected as an AIA National Director, at the 2011 AIA WMR Conference, hosted by AIA Las Vegas.

According to the AIA, "The Board of Directors is responsible for the general management of the affairs of the Institute" which means Stuart will have direct fiduciary responsibility, function as a communication link between the institute and its members, and will provide overall leadership for the western states region. Stuart's will be one of two Western Mountain Regional Directors representing AIA members in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.

In twenty-four years of AIA membership, Stuart has taken opportunities to develop strong working relationships with key National Component staff and Executive Committee members, while intentionally maintaining an independent voice for the architects of his region. He hopes to continues this balance of national and regional influence throughout his three year term which begins in January of 2012.

RTA Healthcare Architects double surgical capacity at Parker Adventist Hospital

From the exterior, it is impossible to see the change. The RTA Healthcare Design Team created seamless integration between old and new facility at Parker Adventist Hospital and doubled functional capacity.

The $20 million OR/OB expansion project at Parker Adventist Hospital includes 34,000 sq. ft. of new construction and 5,000 sq. ft. of renovation. Five new operating rooms were added to the existing second floor OR suite, along with an additional Patient Acute Care Unit and support space. This addition was made possible by building atop the existing first floor Imaging and Emergency Departments. Above the existing BirthPlace/Obstetrics and Pharmacy, a new 3rd floor level was added for the Obstetrics department. Ten new post-partum beds were added along with a new well-baby nursery and support space. In addition, the existing Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is being renovated and a new recovery room added for C-Section patients. All existing facilities were kept fully operational throughout construction. John Hoelscher, Principal (AIA, ACHA) was most pleased with the way the project allowed for hospital operations to proceed uninterrupted. He explains, "We were able to build on top of the Emergency Rooms without disrupting activity below."
This project was opened in the winter of 2010 and according to Hoelscher, who recently spoke in Chicago at the 2011 Healthcare Facilities Symposium, the new additions were executed so cleanly it "looks like it was there from the beginning."

See 3-D floor plans of the Parker OR/ OB Expansion.

RTA Education Architects watch golf partner sink a hole-in-one and win a car!

School Board President wins car

RTA architects Doug Abernethy and Brian Calhoun witnessed once in a lifetime hole-in-one at the annual 4 Person Golf Scramble for the District 20 Foundation Tournament. Their guest and golf partner Cory Thompson, Board President of the Holly School District, sunk his winning hole-in-one on the 17th hole of the Air Force Academy Foundation's Blue Course. The hole played 193 yards, and Cory sunk it with a five wood -- a one in 10,000,000 shot.

District 20 Foundation, which provides grants for teachers and scholarships for high school students, holds the golf tournament annually to raise funds. This year, Heuberger Subaru provided the hole-in-one prize -- and Cory drove home with a brand new Subaru Forester.

The RTA Education Team congratulates Cory on an amazing car-winning shot!

John Hoelscher and Randy Thorne speak in session about Medical Tourism in Vietnam

news-HCFSRTA Principals John Hoelscher and Randy Thorne spoke about their on-the-boards experience with Medical Tourism at the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo in Chicago this week.

The Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo, now in its 24th year, is the original event that brings together the entire team who designs, plans, constructs and manages healthcare facilities. The Symposium serves as a forum where leaders share ideas on healthcare delivery improvement and how the physical space directly impacts the staff, patients and their families. Expert sessions, keynote speakers and exhibitor resources help attendees explore ideas, practices, products and solutions which improve current and future healthcare facilities.

Hoelscher and Thorne shared the unlikely story of cross-cultural bonds formed in spite of the project's rather unpredictable beginnings. The Colorado healthcare architects also discussed their discoveries about their Vietnamese client's vision for the project, the importance of cultural context, developing healthcare models, and the International S.O.S. hospital design of the Vietnamese American International Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.

View the PDF of their Symposium Session: "Medical Tourism -- Vietnamese American International Hospital: A Case Study"