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John Adams Elementary

Colorado Springs, CO


Connecting through experience of place.

The John Adams Elementary School serves an under-realized part of Colorado Springs School District 11 and had been closed for about five years. The District envisioned a completely renovated educational facility that to enhanced opportunities for academic success and a sense of pride and ownership for their students.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

Extensive analysis by the Planning Team (teachers, administrators, community members, and RTA’s design team) resulted in a fast-track design that included flexible spaces, improved student safety, and enriched 21st Century learning environments.               


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

The school’s exterior features a layered entry canopy, improved protected drop-off, outdoor seating areas, expanded parking, a new roof, new playgrounds and shade structures, and a synthetic turf play area.

All classrooms received new lighting, flexible furnishings, and technology upgrades. A new controlled entry vestibule enhances safety. A new mechanical system provides air conditioning, while new windows improve thermal performance of the building. New security systems, fire alarm, and technology upgrades are also in place, as well as a full-service kitchen.

The library features flexible furnishes and a large entryway that can be closed with a glass overhead door. It also features a mural hand-created by RTA Interior Designer Greg Johnson. The ceilings were removed in a portion of the space to create an expansive feel that now incorporates daylight and views to the outside. A STEAM lab is connected to the library with a large glass overhead door that can open and expand the size of the library.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 42,793 sf
  • Project cost: $5.9M

Design Details

  • 21st Century learning spaces
  • Fast track design
  • Natural daylighting
  • Views to outside
  • Low maintenance play areas
  • New windows
  • Flexible furnishings
  • Custom artwork
  • Technology infrastructure upgrades
  • STEAM lab
  • Collaborative Planning Team
  • Secure entry