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A ten-year dream becomes a reality at Swallows Charter Academy

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Swallows Charter Academy, home of the Spartans, is a K-12 school located in Pueblo West, Colorado. For ten long years, students, staff, and community members have dreamed of having an on-campus gym built for the charter school, and this dream became a reality in time for school to begin this fall. RTA Architects is honored to have worked so closely with SCA staff and community members from the surrounding area to help accomplish this dream.

On September 10th, Dr. Cindy Compton, SCA Director, led a long-anticipated ribbon cutting for the opening of their new gymnasium, locker rooms, and a kitchen and commons area. Important staff and community members, such as SCA Board of Directors member Mr. Mason Young, SCA Building Corporation member Mrs. Liz Lutz-Essenburg, Director of School Services Mrs. Katheryn Meyer, and Project Manager at H.W. Houston Construction Mark Taravella, attended the event. Compton pointed out that the kindergarteners, who so sweetly sat with ear-to-ear grins on their faces during the ceremony, would be the first class to have a sports facility for their entire school career.

The completion of this building is a huge accomplishment for SCA and many people are overjoyed to see it finished. However, students, staff, and members of the community look forward to the future as this project is only the first phase of a larger plan for the entire school. Swallows Charter will continue to pursue funding for further renovation of their educational building.

Swallows Charter Academy did not only gain a new facility in this process, but also a newfound sense of pride. The school as a whole now has a greater, fuller identity and students are proud to play sports on their home turf.

RTA staff members Allison Johnson and Alex Asmus participated in the event and were filled with red, white, and blue school spirit. RTA cannot wait to come back and cheer on the Spartans to victory!

"Every vote counts!" - Ignacio High School is open

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On Saturday August 15, 2015, Ignacio High School held its grand opening and ceremonial ribbon cutting. Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto led the ceremony, and dignitaries such as Colorado State Representative J. Paul Brown, Mayor of Ignacio Stella Cox, President of Fort Lewis College Dr. Dene Kay Thomas, and several Sothern Ute Tribal Council representatives participated in the event.

Design for this project began in January of 2012 and was completed over a year-and-a-half later in November of 2013. Construction began in March of 2014 and finished this month. Interestingly, while construction was in process, high school students were housed in the old elementary school building, which was empty because the new, RTA-designed elementary school was finished in 2013. Obviously, this was not an ideal situation for growing high school kids. However, students are now more excited than ever to be in their new school.

A unique part of this project’s story is that the bond to fund the design and construction of the new elementary, middle, and high school buildings passed by a single vote. Now Ignacio School District reminds everyone that “Every vote counts!” Another unique element of this project is that the new high school combines the previous middle school and high school buildings into one unified facility. Also, there are historic elements from the old building included in the new school, such as the gymnasium and tile mosaics. One of the biggest changes to the old building is improved student security and site circulation through distinguishable parking and drop-off areas, a recognizable main entrance, and overall enhanced organization.

Several unique highlights of the new school’s design include a state-of-the-art auditorium to support the growing performing arts program, synthetic turf football and baseball fields, and Southern Ute Bear Dance photographs that were digitized into dramatic graphics and strategically placed throughout the school.

RTA staff members Stuart Coppedge, Brian Calhoun, Ken Gregg, Greg Johnson, and Rick Taves had the privilege of participating in the event and enjoyed touring the new high school with the proud Ignacio community.

New beginnings in Moffat, Colorado

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We are excited to announce that Moffat PK-12, located in rural Southern Colorado, held its grand opening on August 7th, 2015 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Almost 100 staff members, students, and community members joined together in a joyous celebration of the beautiful, new PK-12 school. Superintendent Kirk Bangheart led the ribbon cutting ceremony and a large group of children and adults cut the iconic red ribbon with eagerness.

RTA is extremely proud of the close working relationships that were developed with the administration, staff, and students during this two-year project to create a special building that is unique to Moffat. RTA team members Scott Schuster, Garik Rowe, Rick Taves, Greg Johnson, Doug Abernethy, Ken Gregg, Katie Hawkes, and James McConnell attended the event and felt a sense of achievement as they walked around the finished project.

RTA's team is growing - Four new hired

RTA Architects is excited to welcome four new staff members to its team. Matthew
Carlson received his Master of Architecture degree from Wentworth Institute of
Technology in Boston, MA and brings 3 years of professional experience to the
company. RTA is thrilled to have Matthew as a part of the healthcare and
education teams. Scott Blosser, AIA, NCARB graduated with a Bachelor of
Architecture degree from Oklahoma State University and is a welcome addition to
the healthcare team. His previous experience includes the Tandy Education
Center at the University of Oklahoma, Chisholm Creek Master Plan, and Tract 30
at Chisholm Creek. Sheva Willoughby, Associate AIA received her Master of
Architecture degree in 2010 from the University of Colorado, Denver. She has 3
years of historic preservation experience and 4 years of experience in
healthcare architecture. She has also served on the AIA Colorado South Board of
Directors for 4 years and is currently the Director of Outreach. RTA is excited
to have her as a part of the healthcare team. Alexandria Asmus recently
graduated from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has
joined RTA as the new marketing assistant.

We’re in the media spotlight!

Our partnership with Rose Public Relations has won significant media coverage for RTA in the trade and news media. According to RTA Principal Stuart Coppedge, "Rose PR has gotten us published more in two years than we had been in the last 38!" Principal Sue Rose has specialized in winning media attention for construction and manufacturing firms in Denver, Chicago, and Boston for over 14 years. Check out our media articles page!

RTA Architects to lead Pikes Peak Summit Complex team

In a highly competitive process, the team of RTA Architects of Colorado Springs, as Architect of Record, and GWWO, Inc./Architects of Baltimore, as Design Architect, was selected to create an iconic experience for the summit of Pikes Peak. Celebrating 40 years of innovative design and exemplary client service, RTA's well-known local projects include the Gottlieb Building addition and renovation at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, St. Francis Medical Center, and University Village Colorado Shopping Center. GWWO has designed numerous distinctive visitor centers at such national treasures as George Washington's Mount Vernon, Fort McHenry National Monument, and Everglades National Park.
 
Stuart Coppedge, AIA, RTA Principal-in-Charge: "This is the kind of project every architect dreams of and spends a career preparing for. To be able to serve our city on the mountain we all love is an honor and means the world to all of us at RTA. All of our team members are beside themselves with excitement, and we are committed to engaging all the stakeholders in crafting a summit experience the entire community will be proud of."
 
Alan Reed, FAIA, GWWO Design Principal: "We are very honored and excited to be a part of the transformation of the Pikes Peak visitor experience. We have been fortunate to be involved in the stewardship of many of our national treasures, and the opportunity to continue this work at a place so significant to our nation's heritage and pioneering spirit is a true privilege."
 
Project Consultants:
Public Relations and Communication: Bachman PR, Colorado Springs
Civil Engineer: Kiowa Engineering, Colorado Springs
Landscape Architect: DHM Design, Denver
Structural Engineer: HCDA Engineering, Inc., Colorado Springs
Mechanical/Electrical, and Plumbing Engineer: ME Group, Denver
Exhibit Design: Gallagher & Associates, Washington, DC
Extreme Climate: AECOM, Denver and Anchorage
Food Service: Webb Foodservice Design, Colorado Springs
Specifications: NASH Architectural Solutions, Honolulu, HI
Code and Accessibility: Jensen Hughes, Colorado Springs
Historic Preservation: The Preservation Studio, Colorado Springs

Stuart Coppedge, AIA, principal at RTA Architects, is elected 2016 - 2017 Treasurer of the American Institute of Architects

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Colorado Springs, CO—Stuart Coppedge, AIA, has been elected 2016 - 2017 Treasurer of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The announcement was made at the 2015 AIA National Convention held in Atlanta, May 14 - 16, 2015.

Stuart's long history of AIA leadership began in 2005 when he served as AIA Colorado South President, then AIA Colorado Treasurer, AIA Colorado President, and AIA Western Mountain Region (WMR) Secretary. He then represented the six-state WMR from 2012-2014 as an influential member of the AIA National Board of Directors during a time of significant change, serving on the Finance and Audit Committee as well as leading a select nation-wide group focused on cultural transformation within the AIA.

"We, as the AIA, must embrace our critical role in the future of our profession, balancing bold vision with fiscal responsibility," he stated to the convention delegates. "I believe I can bring great value by working closely with other elected leadership, CACE, and our great staff to devise and implement strategies that address our organization's current and future needs, and align our monetary policies with our members' priorities."

Coppedge is a principal at RTA Architects, which is celebrating 40 years of exemplary client service and innovative design in 2015. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlas Preparatory Academy, serves as an Advisory Board member of the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, and was appointed in 2014 by City Council to a three-year term on the Downtown Review Board.

Allison Johnson earns her architectural license

Colorado Springs, CO—Congratulations to Allison Johnson of RTA Architects on earning her architectural license from the state of Colorado!

Allison joined RTA Architects in 2007 after receiving her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas in 2006. With a focus on educational design, her project experience includes renovations, additions, and new construction for RTA's educational clients throughout Colorado. Her experience includes Holly School District's new PK-12 school and Ignacio School District's new middle school, both 2013 award recipients from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI). Allison is a LEED accredited professional and a member of the American Institute of Architects.
 
Before joining RTA, Allison worked as an intern for Engineering Ministries International (eMi) as part of a team that provides free engineering and design services in the developing world. That experience included two design projects: developing a year-round greenhouse to feed the hungry in North Korea and designing a university in rural Cambodia. In 2009, Allison traveled with eMi again to design a hospital renovation in Sierra Leone. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Hobart D. Wagener Traveling Scholarship, presented by the Architectural Education Foundation of AIA Colorado, and traveled to New York, London, and Copenhagen to study homelessness as it relates to Colorado. These experiences had an immeasurable impact on how she views her role as an architect—all design has the potential to better lives.

RTA's 2015 High School Architecture Class

 Join us for an introductory class to the profession at RTA Architects this coming spring!

We will meet for 10 weeks and explore the field of architecture and discuss the related industries of engineering and construction.  You will even get a chance to work on your own design project and present your project to design professionals at the end of the semester.  Expect to spend a few hours outside of class each week on your project.

The class is free and open to the first 20 high school students to sign up.  Students must provide their own transportation to RTA (19 S. Tejon Street, Suite 300, 80903).

Class Schedule 2015:

We will meet on Wednesdays from 4-6pm for 10 weeks beginning February 4, 2015.  No class week of Spring Break. Final Presentations will be April 22. 

Please note:  Schedule subject to change.

Local native young professionals Jon Bock and Heather Wallsten of RTA Architects reach professional milestones

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Colorado Springs, CO—Congratulations to Widefield HS graduate Jon Bock and Rampart HS graduate Heather Wallsten, both key members of RTA Architects' healthcare design team, on earning his architectural license and her NCIDQ design certification, respectively.

Jon received his Masters of Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2011 and joined RTA in 2012. His project experience involves renovations, additions, and new construction for RTA’s healthcare clients throughout Colorado, including the recently completed Phase 1 expansion and renovation of Craig Hospital in Englewood and several medical office buildings in the Colorado Springs area. Jon took advantage of the State of Colorado’s new “concurrent testing” program by taking the multi-part architectural exam at the same time that he was gaining his required real world “Intern Development Program” experience. He is also a LEED accredited professional and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Heather graduated from Kansas State University in 2012 with a Masters of Interior Architecture and Product Design. Her project experience includes a wide range of interior design and space planning projects for RTA's healthcare clients throughout Colorado, including the Community Health Village in Monument, North Colorado Medical Center for Banner Health in Greely, and St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs. She received her certification from the Council for Interior Design Qualification, or CIDQ, the global leader in establishing standards of competence for interior design professionals.

RTA Architects Promotes Four Staff Members

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Colorado Springs, CO – RTA Architects' Kevin Gould, Paul Reu, Ken Gregg, and Mike Riggs have received recent promotions.
 
Kevin Gould, AIA has been elevated to Principal.  Kevin has 28+ years designing and managing projects in diverse market segments. Since joining RTA in 2008, he has led a variety of complex healthcare projects, bringing design expertise and superior client service to the firm’s clients.
 
Paul Reu, RA; Ken Gregg, AIA; and Mike Riggs, AIA; LEED AP BD+C have been named Associates.
 
Paul has thirty years of experience in architectural design and joined RTA in 2008. He has managed numerous healthcare projects, including the recent award-winning emergency department renovation at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.
 
Ken’s 20 years of architectural experience include nine years with RTA. He plays a key role in creating award-winning educational facilities for Colorado schools, including the new Ignacio Middle School and the Gottlieb Building renovation at Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind in Colorado Springs.
 
Mike joined RTA upon graduation in 2002, focusing on educational and retail clients.  He was instrumental in the award-winning design of Ignacio Elementary School, multiple projects for Boulder Valley School District, and several buildings at University Village Colorado in Colorado Springs.

Founded in 1975, RTA Architects is a firm of 34 staff members specializing in healthcare, education, retail, and commercial projects. RTA Architects provides extensive expertise in planning, interior design, and architectural services supporting local, national, and international communities.

Take a virtual tour of St. Francis Medical Center's Total Joint and Spine Center

RTA Architects and GE Johnson recently completed a 22,000 SF renovation at St. Francis Medical Center. Total Joint and Spine Center was designed to bring a high-end hospitality experience into the hospital environment with a focus on rapid recovery and patient-centered comfort and care.

Take a virtual tour of the St. Francis Medical Center Total Joint and Spine Center.

The 33-bed unit features two larger patient suites with extra amenities and higher-end finishes. The rooms include a hotel-like bar with an under-cabinet refrigerator and a feature wall complete with fireplace and large-screen TV. The unit also includes a family room which serves as a retreat for family members and friends while visiting, completing work, or simply relaxing.

At the heart of the Center is the Ortho Gym. The gym’s high-end equipment is matched with bold color and texture to express an energetic atmosphere. Even corridors act as a therapy circuit, connecting patient rooms with alcove activity stations. Strong goal-orientation is expressed through carpet patterns which transform a standard corridor into progressive benchmarks during therapy.