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Clear Creek School District RE-1 Building 103 Renovation

Idaho Springs, Colorado


Connecting through experience of place.

After passing a capital construction bond in 2021, Clear Creek School District retained RTA to renovate the former High School/ Middle School building to be used for the relocation of the existing Carlson Elementary School, which is challenged by an aging building and tight site constraints.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

In a collaborative effort, RTA worked with the owner’s representative, and the district Design Oversight Group (DOG). Comprised of district leadership, staff and community members, the DOG worked with the design team to identify the project goals and vision. Early on, the DOG determined that the design will be based on the concept and practice of Expeditionary Learning, which supports active learning, character growth, and teamwork.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

The four-story existing building will be reconfigured for elementary school use and will feature classrooms organized into two Learning Communities, a gym, music rooms, Media Center, Maker Space, Expeditionary Classroom, STEAM classroom, kitchen, cafeteria, and dining. In line with Expeditionary Learning Principles, the classroom and teaching areas will incorporate direct access to nature, daylighting, interactive technology, and flexible, collaborative spaces that encourage discovery and provide a safe place for students to innovate. 

Project Details

Size: 71,252 sf

Cost: $22m (est.)

Design Details

  • Direct access to nature and daylighting throughout the building
  • Interactive technology, and flexible, collaborative spaces