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Otero Elementary School Renovation

Colorado Springs, CO


Connecting through experience of place.

Through a successful bond measure in the fall of 2018, Harrison School District 2 began their initiative to modernize their existing building infrastructure. The District retained RTA in 2018 to complete renovations for Otero Elementary School.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

In a fully collaborative design effort, RTA led three meetings with the Otero Elementary School Design Advisory Group (DAG) consisting of  administrative staff, faculty, parents, and community members. This team set project goals and visions while establishing priorities and voicing support for the needs of the school within the context of the established bond approved scope of work.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

The principle focus of the building improvements which directly impact the student learning environment was the transition of the library to a Learning Commons. The Otero Elementary Learning Commons was developed as a strategic initiative by the District to impact learning and constructed as a prototype which was replicated numerous times across the District. It consists of four primary areas: Collaborate, Literacy, Maker, and Present. The Collaborative area is for group work and as an informal teaching space. The Literacy area focuses on the research side of learning through traditional media as well as digital media. The Maker Space features flexible furniture to accomodate projects of varying sizes, and the Present area is for small or large group presentations and can utilize multiple media.

The rest of the renovations to Otero Elementary include improvements to the playground and restrooms to improve accessibility, replacement of the flooring in the gym, miscellaneous finish upgrades, HVAC and lighting improvements, and kitchen renovations.

The renovations will be constructed while the existing building is occupied. The project is expected to be completed in August 2019.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 50,990 sf (estimated)
  • Project cost: $5.025M (estimated)

Design Details

  • BEST Grant project
  • Occupied during construction
  • Conversion of library to Learning Commons, designed as a prototype to be implemented throughout the District
  • Flooring replacement in the gym
  • HVAC and lighting upgrades
  • Restroom and kitchen renovations
  • Playground accessibility improvements
  • Fire alarm and PA system upgrades